South Dakota Pulls ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ Campaign
The South Dakota Department of Highway Safety’s “Don’t Jerk and Drive” campaign was a pundit’s wet dream.
New York Magazine‘s Jessica Roy (“South Dakota Yanks ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ Ad Campaign“) has some fun with her report:
South Dakota has yanked its “Don’t Jerk and Drive” ad campaign for reasons that are totally obvious to anyone who’s ever been 13 years old: It’s reminiscent of the (disturbingly popular) pastime of masturbating while driving.
The PSAs, plastered on billboards around the state, were supposed to “grab the attention of drivers” and jack up interest in the dangers of navigating snowy roads. Though the Office of Highway Safety took a purposeful whack at double entendre, some believed the ads might rub people the wrong way and become a driving distraction. The campaign was yanked prematurely by the Department of Public Safety, which said it doesn’t “want innuendo to pull focus for the main message of saving lives on the road.”
So much for that stroke of genius. Now the Department of Highway Safety is left with a pretty sticky PR mess to clean up.
As a general rule, government agencies shouldn’t try to be funny.