Top 5 Terrorist Ads Not to Worry About

Rachel Ray’s Intifada Scarf is Just the Latest in a Line of Jihadist and Suicide-Promoting Ads

Judge for yourself whether the rest were really that harmful…

rachael ray dunkin donuts

5. Present Time: Dunkin’ Donuts features Rachel Ray in a keffiyeh scarf, which according to one blog is “worn by Muslim extremists.” Uh, hello? These things were worn long before Arafat. They’re worn for fashion around Europe. The British Army has worn them for years. Urban Outfitters used to stock them. In recent years, they’ve become just as much a vapid fashion statement as a symbol of Palestinian solidarity. People, please.

4. February 2007: General Motors runs an ad in which an assembly-line robot gets fired from GM, then launches itself off a bridge. Not exactly suicide-bomber material, but close enough to make GM pull the ad. A Suicide Prevention spokeperson said that “…romanticized descriptions of suicide deaths in any medium can contribute to…’copycat’ suicides.” And some of those copycats, the assumption goes, may have had a few explosives strapped around their bellies.

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3. March 2007: Washington Mutual pulls an ad depicting bankers about to kill themselves by jumping off the top of the building. They should’ve waited a year to run that one.

2. March 2007: A young man almost commits suicide off the top of a building until he discovers that VW is selling three models below $17,000. I’d want to live, too. I guess.

1. Late 2005: A viral ad features a suicide bomber trying to explode a VW Polo in front of a busy restaurant. He fails miserably, because the Polo doesn’t explode. He only explodes inside of it. The ad takes the Internet by storm, but turns out to be a hoax.

Of all these ads, only #1, which was a hoax, seriously approached the topic of terrorism. And the terrorist didn’t even win! Isn’t that the point?

Can you think of any other tasteless, death-promoting ads I may have missed (Tobacco doesn’t count)?

Stay tuned for a list of ads that, though they look friendly, actually DO promote terrorism…

Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.