After numerous complaints regarding an online ad campaign for Hyundai's zero-emission car depicting a suicide, attempt the car company decided to remove the ad.
The advertisement was taken down on Thursday after the commercial, which depicts a man trying to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning, was deemed "dangerous" by suicide prevention organizations. They said the ad undermined the serious nature of suicide.
"We know from research that graphic depictions of suicide in the media can inadvertently lead to further suicides … This advertisement was particularly graphic and potentially dangerous. We are pleased that Hyundai has decided to pull this campaign," Robert Gebbia, executive director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said in a statement.
The Hyundai suicide ad depicted a man trying to commit suicide when he connects a hose from the exhaust pipe and puts the other end inside the car. He seals the car's windows and then proceeds to inhale the fumes.
Ultimately his attempt fails because the car used in the ad was Hyundai's new iX35, which runs on hydrogen and only emits water vapor.
Hyundai pulled the car suicide ad a week after it first aired and immediately issued an apology.
"We at Hyundai Motor America are shocked and saddened by the depiction of a suicide attempt in an inappropriate European video featuring a Hyundai. Suicide merits thoughtful discussion, not this type of treatment," the company stated.
The company added that the suicide ad was created by the overseas ad agency Innocean Europe and added that the ad agency had no connection to Hyundai's operations in the U.S.
Holly Brockwell, a blogger who is also an advertising copywriter, wrote to explain that her father committed suicide in the same manner and warned that the ad was the wrong way to advertise for a new car.
"When your ad started to play, and I saw the beautifully-shot scenes of taped-up car windows with exhaust feeding in, I began to shake. I shook so hard that I had to put down my drink before I spilt it," she wrote.