By Mark Degnan, Director of Local Advertising and Marketing

I manage GM’s college purchase program, among other things. We’ve read the blogs, comments and Tweets. As a result, we’ve stopped running the cycling ad in college papers.

Let me explain, by going back to the beginning. We’ve had a college marketing program for more than a decade. A new college grad’s first car or truck purchase is a big deal – big as in important, and big as in the financial commitment. Our program is designed to help make the purchase easier.

Two years ago, when we were working on new ads, we talked to a lot of college students about their first new car purchase, and how to best reach students like themselves. Many students told us that they couldn’t afford a car while in school and they aspired to own one soon after graduating. A common remark was, “As soon as I get my first job, I want to get a new car.”

This campaign has appeared in many college newspapers and has helped raise awareness of our program. However in hindsight, our judgment was poor and the ads were poorly executed.

It was not our intent to make light of a healthy lifestyle and cycling. And, while we have not had any complaints until now, we have heard the community loud and clear. We will seek new ways to effectively communicate with college students regarding our new vehicle purchase program.

Thanks for giving us another chance.

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