The show, to be hosted by Craig T. Nelson, star of ABC's Coach, and CBS Morning Show host Paula Zahn, will first air April 23. It has been in the works for some time. But GM had been waffling in recent weeks over whether to air it because of the court battle in Atlanta regarding an allegedly poorly designed GM truck that was determined to have contributed to the death of a young man. In addition, GM has refused to go along with a call by the Center for Auto Safety to recall GM trucks sold between 1980 and 1987
But GM's stunning rebuttal two weeks ago of an NBC news report that focused on the GM truck design, but used incendiary devices to give the impression that a GM truck could easily explode on impact, apparently gave the company confidence to go ahead with the program.
The program, coordinated through Ayer, Detroit and New York, was produced by Blanki & Bodi Productions, with assistance from numerous highway safety organizations. GM will run ads from the corporate campaign created by Ayer last year, themed 'Come See The Changes We've Made.'
'This message is vitally important because every official study of the subject reveals that driver error continues to be the leading cause of collisions,' said Phil Guarascio, GM general manager of marketing and advertising.
Ayer's corporate campaign has not received the air time that was planned for it when it was completed last year. But the company is reportedly deliberating implementing a bigger role for the campaign, or some revised version of it.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)