South Dakota's Department of Public Safety was forced to yank its "Don't Jerk and Drive" ad campaign after a short-lived, wildly successful run because a powerful legislator thought the slogan was in poor taste.
The ad campaign centers on a TV spot in which an announcer with a British accent describes how to prevent spinning out while driving in snowy or icy conditions.
"Winter driving can be treacherous. Should your tire leave a snowy or icy road, resist the urge to jerk the steering wheel. Over-correcting only results in chaos, and besides -- nobody likes a jerker," the ad copy reads.
Lee Axdahl, South Dakota's director for highway safety, was out of the office on Friday, but according to the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls the campaign had a huge reach.
"The ad campaign, despite the second thoughts, was shaping up to be incredibly successful for South Dakota.
More than 16,000 people saw the campaign on Twitter in its first week. Page views at the DPS's Facebook page have jumped to almost 30,000 since the campaign launched, outperforming previous public safety campaigns 25 to 1."
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) pulled the ad after Republican state Rep. Mike Verchio, who chairs the Transportation Committee, declared he planned to call Axdahl before the committee to explain himself, according to the Argus Leader.
Apparently once Verchio found out DPS intentionally created the double entendre (gasp!) he decided it wasn't suitable for the proud people of the Mount Rushmore state.
"When they say, 'Yeah, there's some double-meaning there,' I think that was a terrible error in judgment," he told the Argus Leader.
Still, the message lives on: Don't jerk and drive. It's dangerous out there.
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