Sexist TrueCar.com Ad Says Women Don't Need A Dude to Help Them Buy A Car
My how times haven't changed. Remember that classic Goodyear Polyglass commercial which many have dubbed the most sexist ad of all time? You know the one. The one in which...OMG...you wife has to drive alone!
On one hand, advertising culture has moved beyond portraying women like moronic, bikini-clad bimbos whose sole purpose is to drape themselves across the hood of a car or stand in front of a refrigerator. On the other, we have TrueCar.com which, in a serious headscratcher, thought it smart to imply women are still hapless nitwits who have no idea how to buy a car on their own.
A not-so-recent ad from the used car site features women telling us how the site gave them the necessary confidence to buy a car on their own with one particular woman saying...wait for it..."I don't even need to bring a dude with me."
Predictably, reaction to the ad has been far from flattering. Comments include "The most sexist commercial out there" and "Wow. I guess all women are just scared, meek, docile little creatures that get intimidated by car dealerships."
Defending the ad, which debuted back in March, TrueCar.com responded to comments, saying,"We apologize if our ad came across the wrong way. Transparency is a core part of our business and we aim to improve the car buying experience for everyone by helping consumers make an informed buying decision."
What complete and utter bullshit. Even if any of that marble-mouthed buzzword bingo were even remotely sincere, what idiot behind this work thought anachronistically sexist copy like this wouldn't spark outrage?
Of course, the ad is right inline with how TrueCar.com perceives the car buying process. The brand hangs its hat on findings from the book, Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, which states 2.5 more women than men feel "a great deal of apprehension" about negotiation and that they will pay, on average, up to $1,353 to avoid negotiating the price of a vehicle.
Other studies though, such as a 2012 survey from LeaseTrader reveal women are more likely to ask tougher questions and engage in more due diligence when buying a car. The study found more than two thirds (67.2%) of women -- as compared to 54.4% of men -- requested a vehicle inspection when considering a lease purchase. The differences are even more pronounced in younger age groups with 78.2% of women 21-30 requesting an inspection as compared to 42.3% for men.
So, perhaps, it makes perfect sense for TrueCar.com to target women since they, it seems, are more likely than men to use (and pay for) services that provide detailed information which eases the negotiation process rather than winging it as more men seem to do.
But to imply they've needed (or need) the assistance of men (who don't even probe as deeply as women do when buying a car) rings untrue when studies indicate they don't need a man; they just need more information when considering a purchase.
TrueCar.com should, indeed, tout the fact they can arm car buyers with information that will ease the negotiation process. But to imply some women need a dude when buying a car does nothing but roll back gender enlightenment 50 years or so.
Goodyear Polyglass ad: