Remember back when advertisers would blatantly mock women for being helpless without men? I mean, you're probably not old enou … wait, never mind, still happening. A recent ad for used-car pricing service TrueCar.com features women explaining how the site helped them purchase a vehicle without the help of a man. Because apparently women have to research pricing, while men have the magical ability to guess it on the nose like they're securing a spot on The Price Is Right.
"TrueCar makes it a lot easier to go in by yourself," notes one of the testimonials. Another woman lays out the service's benefit even more bluntly: "I don't need to bring a dude with me." The ad has earned its share of critics on YouTube and Facebook. "The most sexist commercial out there," notes one woman on TrueCar's Facebook page. "Wow. I guess all women are just scared, meek, docile little creatures that get intimidated by car dealerships." Here's another Facebook comment from a man named Richard: "As a man, you're [sic] commercials embarrass me. The notion that women need a 'dude' to navigate the apparent labyrinth that is the automotive market is not only incorrect, its out-dated and offensive."
TrueCar has responded to a few of the complaints with a boilerplate response saying the ad was about leveling the playing field for every car buyer, not just women: "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." Hat tip to blogger Kelby Carr for sharing this ad on Facebook.
UPDATE: TrueCar's PR firm, PGCCampbell, sent us the following response, attributed to TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter:
"Regardless of race or gender, being a more informed car buyer benefits consumers. TrueCar supplies a hassle-free experience for both men and women by providing car-buying information the public can't get elsewhere.
"This particular ad is pro-consumer and pro-women. It was developed by our creative director, who is a woman, and it addresses a real consumer issue in the marketplace."