NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–After being bombarded with criticism from consumers and morality advocates, Dodge will no longer sponsor a pay-per-view football game featuring scantily clad models during halftime of the Super Bowl Feb. 1.
Dodge announced its sponsorship of the “Lingerie Bowl” at the beginning of December, saying the game of two seven-women teams of models playing tackle football in lingerie would attract the Dodge brand’s core demographic of primarily males ages 18 to 34.
The American Family Association and other action groups encouraged their members to contact DaimlerChrysler, the parent company of Dodge, and local dealerships to voice their disapproval of the plans.
DaimlerChrysler announced Dec. 17 that it was pulling out of its sponsorship of the Lingerie Bowl.
“Dodge brand’s sponsorship of the Lingerie Bowl has become a distraction,” said George E. Murphy, senior vice president of global marketing at DaimlerChrysler. “The event was diverting media and consumer attention from current products and from the great new products we are preparing to launch next year.”
The bowl will proceed without the automaker’s sponsorship.
Donald Wildmon, AFA’s founder and chairman, was pleased with Dodge’s reconsideration of the sponsorship.
“I think Dodge placed themselves in a position of offending too many ‘soccer moms’ who promised to abandon their brand loyalty to the company,” Wildmon said. “It would take a lot of porn-watching males buying Dodge trucks to offset the financial loss they might have experienced from angry customers.”
The reversal by Dodge marks another example of consumers persuading companies to change plans that are considered offensive by many. Also in December, clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch decided to discontinue its quarterly catalog, which had been criticized for pornographic content. And in July, billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., changed its charitable giving policy after a group of Pampered Chef sales consultants petitioned the conglomerate to stop using profits to fund abortion clinics.