To Coors Brewing, a yet-to-air TV spot featuring a damsel in distress tied to railroad tracks by a dastardly villain, only to be saved by a valiant and, in this case, beer-swilling hero, is merely a parody of an old movie trope.
A group of railroad safety advocates, however, see the commercial - by Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago - very differently. To the members of Operation Lifesaver, it is a dangerous misrepresentation of the potential hazards of the railway. "They weren't caricatures, they were real people," said Marmie Edwards of Alexandria, Va.-based Operation Lifesaver.
"The image doesn't seem right."
Operation Lifesaver sent a letter to Golden, Colo.-based Coors chief executive officer Pete Coors asking the company to pull the ad. Attached were signatures from major railway and transportation groups, including Amtrak and the National Association of Railroad Passengers.
Coors representative Dave Taylor said the company has talked to officials with the group, but that plans to air the spot this summer have not been sidetracked.
"I don't foresee it's going to be a major problem," Taylor said.
"I would doubt it's something we'd pull."
- Trevor Jensen