Apr 29, 2018
John Oliver Gives GM The Cripplingly Dangerous Ad It Deserves (Video)
John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight had some fun with one of the weirder artifacts to come out of the investigation into General Motors’ defective cars: a list of banned words that GM didn’t want employees using in emails or other written documents. They weren’t quite ready to fix the ignition-switch problem that was killing people, but they were definitely ready to limit the damage from leaked emails, telling engineers to avoid words like “defective” and instead say “does not perform to design.” Beyond just suggesting euphemisms, the presentation also listed some far less obvious terms to avoid, such as “Corvair-like,” “death trap,” “decapitating,” “disemboweling,” “genocide,” “grenadelike,” and our personal favorite, “words or phrases with biblical connotation.” So no jeremiads, guys.
Obviously, if you have a list of words like that, you have to put them into a car ad. And here it is.