An open letter to Innocean and Hyundai

Dear Hyundai and your advertising agency, Innocean,

This is my dad.


His name is Geoff. He married my mum in the eighties and had two little girls, by all accounts the loves of his life.

This is the note he left when he committed suicide in his car:


And this is your new ad.

As an advertising creative, I would like to congratulate you on achieving the visceral reaction we all hope for. On prompting me to share it on my Twitter page and my blog. I would not like to congratulate you on making me cry for my dad.

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. And then I started to cry. I remembered looking out of the window to see the police and ambulance, wondering what was happening. I remember mum sitting me down to explain that daddy had gone to sleep and would not be waking up, and no, he wouldn’t be able to take me to my friend’s birthday party next week. No, he couldn’t come back from heaven just for that day, but he would like to if he could. I remember finding out that he had died holding my sister’s soft toy rabbit in his lap.

Surprisingly, when I reached the conclusion of your video, where we see that the man has in fact not died thanks to Hyundai’s clean emissions, I did not stop crying. I did not suddenly feel that my tears were justified by your amusing message. I just felt empty. And sick. And I wanted my dad.

I understand better than most people the need to do something newsworthy, something talkable, even something outrageous to get those all-important viewing figures. What I don’t understand is why a group of strangers have just brought me to tears in order to sell me a car. Why I had to be reminded of the awful moment I knew I’d never see my dad again, and the moments since that he hasn’t been there. That birthday party. Results day. Graduation.

I’ve worked on automotive accounts. I actually worked on Honda for the best part of a year. And strangely, not once did it seem that the best way – the most intelligent way, the most creative way – to advertise their products to people was to remind them of the horrendous event that is suicide. Strangely enough, I could – and still can – think of a thousand more interesting, creative ideas that wouldn’t have left me feeling like I’ve just lost my dad all over again.

So I’d like to ask that next time you want to tell the world about a new innovation in car design, you think about it for a little bit longer. Think about me. Think about my dad. And the thousands of other suicide victims and the families they left behind.

My dad never drove a Hyundai. Thanks to you, neither will I.


Holly Brockwell.

701 thoughts on “An open letter to Innocean and Hyundai

  1. Ian Sadler says:

    If I hadn’t been informed in advance that this was an advert for a car I’d be expecting a payoff of how to deal with suicidal thoughts or how to contact the Samaritans in the darkest moment of existence. To use an aspect of life, of death and of heartbreaking loss as the basis for a campaign for something as mundane as a bloody car is obscene. This advert needs to be banned, and the makers reprimanded and fined.

    • Hmmm says:

      So whenever you do not like an ad, because it is offensive in some way, the answer is to ban it? Should we always ban things that make us feel uncomfortable?

      • V. Reddy says:

        She asked the company to think about it, she didn’t ask anybody to ban it. Can you read? (Perhaps you are 12 or younger, in which case, don’t worry, you’ll mature.)

      • Theresa Markham says:

        It’s called a Trigger. It’s psychological, and it can cause real harm to people who suffer from it. This ad is a public menace.

      • DAVID A BAINES says:

        If any of the UK Royal family had committed suicide in the past Hyunda would not of tried this on.

      • saywhat? says:

        you are so right. its ridiculous. people need to grow up, get life and stop crying over every little thing. it was joke…I have 3 friends who took their own lives, im not blaming the car company;s ad for making me think about them!

      • jb says:

        When they are this disgraceful, yes.

        This isn’t just about pushing the boundaries of taste, this ad has the ability to genuinely affect people that have already suffered enough, all for what, to sell a fucking car.

      • dave says:

        Hmmmm i think this you are someone in the industry trying to defend something you can’t. Davo

      • Ian Sadler says:

        no, we regulate and ban adverts that make fun of horrific events such as suicide. Perhaps when a corporation makes an advert mocking 9/11 and the July 2005 London bombings that’ll be fine to let through then?

      • Heather says:

        Suicides go up when there is media attention on a specific way to commit suicide; see Ben Goldacre’s response to this ad for citations. So yes, this ad could give someone ideas and a method to follow. It should be banned.

      • Mediaismediated says:

        Re: V: Reddy, Hmmmm was responding to the preceding comment, not the article. Rather than rushing to judgement, maybe YOU should examine your own eye for detail.

      • Jen says:

        This advertisement was in bad taste. It should be banned because there are people who will attempt suicide in this manner just because they saw it on TV. Think about the person who attempts suicide, as seen on TV, but not with a car that has super clean emmisions.

    • Mian Sandler says:

      Fined.. Really bro? Banned… Really bro? Have you ever watched a comedian before? Are you an American citizen? Have you heard the insensitive shit people spew out their mouth on a daily basis? I think those offended can easily handle a commercial, even more so when they can somehow handle life after such a tragedy.

      • Lambsenglish says:

        don’t really understand how or why you’d write this on the blog of someone whose whole point is that she can’t “easily handle” this commercial…

      • mkcopyMandy says:

        Mian, the difference here is that an ad is not the opinion or view of one person acting outside a business.

        The idea of advertising is to further the brand, either through sales or through recognition, not to promote controversial thinking, change the status quo or challenge comfort and views – unless your brand falls under any of those parachutes.

        Selling cars has nothing to do with any of those things (except, perhaps, promoting environmental causes). As such, it’s in poor taste, poor judgement and even poorer business acumen.

      • T Hooper says:

        Don’t need to ban it. Let it cripple sales becasue it’s beyond offensive. I love how the arguement is we should just ignore a companies complete insensativity to people who have lost loved ones because there are a lot of assholes in the world who do the same thing. How about we ignore companies who cause deaths within acceptable loss margins because people go around shooting each other…

      • Joe Dokes says:

        Mian, you missed the point. The commercial was in poor taste, deliberately designed to make light of suicide. Most comedians ultimately are trying to be funny through crude humor. If this was a comedian there would be crickets chirping in the audience with people weeping…

        This was an epic fail ad. It failed creative. It failed taste. It just didn’t push the car in a positive manner and infuriated thousands of people who will avoid the car just to make a point.

        Advertising that pisses off people is a bad idea.

      • Jeff L. says:

        Which comedians do you watch? The lady who wrote that letter wrote to the people who created an advertisement for a car, and they were fully aware of the subject used in their advertisement. So, I hope you’ll ask yourself, and I’ll ask myself, and hopefully everyone else has asked themselves and got an obvious answer.. who’s being insensitive? The people who were offended, or the division of the company responsible for this advertisement… or the people who assume this is a normal occurrence right off the bat? Who deserves the weight of the blame, and how hefty should it be?

      • Ian Sadler says:

        I’m English. Funnily enough i do have a sense of humour, quite a dark macabre one in fact but this is not humour. It’s a group of individuals getting together to dream up, commission and produce an ad that anyone possessing half a brain cell knew would be heartbreaking to those touched by suicide.

        Perhaps you’d like an advert featuring cot death to push baby products?

      • Jaded77 says:

        M. Sandler…One point of importance I think you may be overlooking here is the fact that the insensitive, offensive & crude comedians to which you are referring perform shows which are typically broadcast on premium (paid) cable channels. As such, we have the benefit of CHOOSING whether or not to subject ourselves to such content. Commercial ads for a worldwide automotive conglomerate’s international marketing campaign, on the other hand, is nearly impossible to avoid given our current “electronic age” and the endless avenues through which commercial media takes full advantage. Thus, we can control our exposure to many aspects of public programming, such as coarse comedians, but we have little or no control over the general ads we see (which is the whole point).

        This particular ad, however, provokes and exacerbates the emotional trauma of those affected by suicide which is serious, tragic & the victim’s families suffer beyond comprehension. You can feel empathy/sympathy for those affected but until you’ve been through such a trauma, you couldn’t begin to imagine how truly difficult it is…certainly NOT something to be made light of, especially in the manner used by this ad. Hyundai’s ad, regardless of their intent, depicted seriousness NOT HUMOR.

        With that being said though, I don’t agree that any action should be taken against the company. Our freedoms do allow Hyundai to continue running this ad if they so choose despite its repugnance. In doing so, they would likely accomplish the exact opposite of their intention. So, we should all just let them be their own worst enemy.

    • Underlnf1 says:

      You have the right to be offended as well as the right to offend. If you don’t like the car advertisement simply don’t watch it again. No single person or a corporation has an obligation to tend to your feelings and insensitivity. That’s just how it works. I guess it always can also help to hop on the internet and start a crusade about how depressing a one minute commercial on the internet was to you. Get real.

      • hlamme says:

        Since when can you “chose” which adverts come on your tv?!
        There is such things as business ethics and corporate responsibility – businesses and corporations are answerable to certain things, and it is pretty shoddy marketing if they think that discriminating against 1/4 of the population is in their benefit. Mental health is a ground on which people can be discriminated against – there is law and other measures protecting them.

        (weirdly enough, actually, you’re also wrong in saying that “no single person…has an obligation to tend to your feelings” under the same equality legislation. Harassment, abuse and discrimination are generally discouraged upon, y’know. They are all linked to “person”s and “feelings”.)

        The blogger is not the insensitive one: you are…Especially if you think that businesses come before people.

      • JM says:

        Don’t watch it again? No one CHOOSES to watch advertisements, they’re there to get your attention and can hardly ever be avoided. Don’t be such a moron to suggest that she should just ‘not watch it again’. Just fuck off.

      • K says:

        No single person is “obliged” to be respectful of tragedy, kind to children, or many of the other things that are valued in society. Set aside that straw man for a moment and just think about what’s polite and decent.

      • Natalie says:

        Yikes. This was brutally harsh. Can’t you exercise your compassion for just one minute to put yourself in this girl’s shoes?

      • adambravo (@adambravo) says:

        Hey, could you please buy me a Tivo for every TV in our house so I can pick and choose which commercials to fast-forward through (even though I’ll still the image of attempted suicide at high speed)? Right now, like most of the rest of the world, I am forced to sit through whatever commercial pap materializes on the ad breaks. And I believe the “insensitivity” comment belongs to you, sir or ma’am, while I would characterize the author here as ‘sensitive’. Happy to help as you learn to use the English language.

      • alice says:

        I find myself unable to come up with a coherent reply to that other than

        You are a piece of sh-t.
        And I sincerely hope you are not married / never marry or have children, because I bet you make anyone who’s close to you’s life hell. Especially if they’ve ever experienced any kind of life difficulty or tragedy. Either you’ve never experienced real life-altering tragedy, or you have an you chose to become a bitter sob because of it.

      • Daniel says:

        Actually this is a great example of the free market at work. Underlnf1, you point out that, “No single person or a corporation has an obligation to tend to your feelings and insensitivity.” However in this case, Hyundai felt sufficiently moved to pull the ad despite the significant investment they’d surely made in its production and airing. All Holly did was post her opinions about it, which she has every right to do. And whether anyone responds is up to them. In this case, clearly, Hyundai agreed with Holly. Perhaps they had their own internal misgivings about the ad and that’s why they responded so forcefully.

      • jb says:

        This isn’t like a program that you can choose not to watch, tell me, apart from not watching anything, how you can avoid an ad when watching something live to air, when its in print or on a billboard, by design they are intrusive.

      • theonlyway11E says:

        Sad comment from an empty sad person, this girl is being so real, open and honest in her grief. it’s yourself who has lost your grip on reality. It’s an ad for god’s sake, not possible to control your viewing of it.

      • Pablo Nop says:

        All this person did was express her visceral response to the ad and how she would be spending her money in response to that. She wasn’t challenging your asinine soundbite of “everyone has a right to be offended”. Do you have any other crumbs of wisdom to drop on the world? Maybe you’d like to refer to social darwinism to feel really clever.

      • Whut? says:

        And I have the right to hope that someone dear to you commits suicide so you can understand something “real”. Asshole.

      • dave says:

        “No single person or a corporation has an obligation to tend to your feelings and insensitivity.” where is that written…….many countries have codes laws etc regarding media content. just because those in the industry may lack a moral compass, a sense of decency or in this case common sense. Not all news is good news. Many companies who have used shock tactics in the past are now history………Just like other areas of the media are being scrutinised advertising and marketing should be looked at!

      • Leonie Cumiskey says:

        She isn’t asking anyone to ban this advert. This woman works in advertising, she is simply critiquing the advert and saying that it is in poor taste, as are many adverts. Not all adverts are offensive – some are heartwarming, some are dark and poignant, others are harmlessly comedic. I didn’t find the tone of this piece to be whiny, or anything like that. When I first watched this advert I kind of just thought, “Woah.” I noticed that it was beautifully shot and very dark, but I also understood that it was probably in poor taste, too. Reading this made me realise that, for some people, this advert was TOO dark and brought back genuinely painful feelings. This blog entry really just makes a valid point to advertisers – when your advert is really offensive, you will alienate and upset potential buyers, who will then decide that they’re not going to purchase the product.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        LMAO. Wow, this actually made me chuckle a bit. This superb piece of idiocy is no doubt printed and framed on a wall in your bedroom in commemoration of the first day you typed such a true bit of trolling that wasn’t sounding like it was written by a grade-school kid.

        In words you’d be able to more easily understand: GTFO troll.

    • pinko says:

      Wow! I can’t believe that people think that a corporation has no responsibility to think through how the ads might affect people or what type of message the ad is sending out there. . And to think that we have a “choice” to watch ads? Really? That’s like saying we have a choice on what spam we receive in our in box. In my opinion, using a sensitive and heartbreaking topic such as suicide to market cars is just plain stupid and trivializes a very serious problem. Yes we should ban things. We do ban things every day. That’s why the courts and jails are full because we ban things. We have laws based on what society thinks is appropriate. There are certain things in society that people don’t want to see or have happen and this ad should be one of them.

      • A Corporation says:

        A corporation does have responsibility to think how its ads affect people, because the people’s reaction affects its bottom line. So yes, the ad was offensive and poorly thought out, but this is not a reason to ban something.

        I don’t see how banning an ad is not violating one’s right to free speech. And yes, you do ban things every day, and it’s stupid – it is the reason Kinder cannot sell candy in the US, and restaurants cannot sell big sized cokes in New York. It is restrictive and fascist.

    • Les Orchard says:

      No, it shouldn’t be banned. Hyundai should have the right to be so blatantly, disgustingly offensive. And, the rest of us should have the right to call them out on it. The damage to their public reputation and sales is the penalty.

      • Dan says:

        I can’t agree more. I had considered “considering” a Hyundai on my next new car purchase. I will not. It’s incomprehensible to me that human beings with any degree of feeling or sensitivity would find this ad acceptable. How many levels of stupidity did this have to go through at Hyundai before it was ‘published’? Holly, my sympathies and best wishes for you and your family.

    • Homelandsafari says:

      I will send you a list of everything that I do not like or agree with so that you can start banning and whining about that stuff too. Just about every advertisement uses aspects of life, death or loss. Grow up.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        >tells author to grow up
        >is a whiny idiot who has nothing better to do at 7:29 PM than troll a serious article just for shits and giggles
        >implies it is being posted for a reason other than just to piss people off

        … seems legit.

        In other words: GTFO troll.

    • Ermagawd, people. Really. says:

      This whole rant is akin to the mainstream media here in the States. CNN critiques NBC who in turn shames CBS while it’s condemning ABC while they all sh*t on Fox.
      It is YOU self-proclaimed “creatives” that are responsible for this kind of crap.You all are mere sellouts who worship at the throne of the mighty dollar (pound?) while pretending that one of you is more offensive than the other to sell me and my children cars, toys and cereal.
      You ALL are offensive.
      Such a proud profession….

      • copybot says:

        No. I have never made an offensive or traumatising ad and I never will. 99% of the people in advertising are humans with actual souls.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        >calls author a “sellout”
        >uses pretentious phrasing only someone “sold out” to being a hipster would use

        Seems legit…

    • Matt says:

      Why ban? Its not attacking anyone.. Its not even making fun of anyone.. Next you’ll be asking to ban the Oxfam ads because they make you sad?

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        Dear Matt,

        KIND sir, it is highly recommended that you read the article before commenting. Would go a long way towards you doing something more productive with your time.

        (Non-sarcasm version= GTFO)

    • nytitan says:

      It has been said that any publicity is good publicity and this forum is giving more to the ad which has now been banned. If this triggers any suicidal tendencies, it is telling a suicidal person not to try it in this manner since they will fail. A little compassion from Hyundai in their response of removing the ad was appropriate. We are exposed to so much politically incorrect material. Does anyone remember the VW ad with the car bomber who tries to detonate their VW?

    • Dee Bee says:

      No banning the ad or fining the company is not the answer. The best way to deal with this is as follows:

      1. Stop buying Hyundai cars
      2. This will hit them where it hurts and force them to abandon this sorry excuse for creativity from the advert company
      3. The ad agency will them ahve to hold the persons responsible for coming up with the idea and approving the idea and giving the go ahead

      This is how the free market should and can work

    • protectcutedogs says:

      I don’t like your use of the word “ban” here because it implies that some government should regulate speech, which is something I’m against. All speech should be legal, no matter how abhorrent. Holly is absolutely right that this ad should never have gone though and Innocean really screwed up here. It hits way too close to home for a lot of people. However, there is one tiny point that I would respectfully make. There are way too many companies out there that are super scared to death of offending anybody in their ads and social media and act like robotic PR releases that have been run through an HR department before being released. I think smarter companies are focusing more on social media where they can connect directly with people and be more open and honest with folks. The mere fact that there are dozens and dozens of companies listed at really illustrates this fact well. To a certain extent, though this ad was monumentally stupid, Hyundai shouldn’t ever try and be a bland corporate mouthpiece and should try and use humor in their ads. But obviously not about suicide. That was just dumb. Anybody who has ever experienced that knows that it is no laughing matter.

    • mccrutchesccam says:

      This is horrendous! who on earth came up with this! Sick twisted corporate minds, F**k! sometimes i genuinely hate what companies will do to sell a product. As a cameraman in the media industry if i had been shown this story board id have got this whole thing shut down and not shot! Disgusting!

  2. mhairi says:

    Oh what a terrible advert – badly misjudged.

    Its needs withdrawn immediately,, apart from reminding families, suicides and suicide attempts are on the rise just now and using that commercially is just vile.

  3. Kat says:

    Bloody hell. Firstly, I’m so sorry about your dad. Secondly, I cannot believe that anyone thought this would be an acceptable form of advertising.

    • Ian Sadler says:

      Doubtless those idiots who think that the ad is acceptable will have no issues with cot death being used to advertise Mothercare or the July 2005 London bombings used to promote Oyster Card.

  4. Lissa says:

    I am horrified by this ad. How anyone thought this was an appropriate way to advertise a car is beyond me. Stunned.

  5. Karen says:

    This is beyond repugnant. I can’t believe this got through all the people that are meant to check ads for their suitability – what is wrong with the staff at these two organisations?!

    I’m so sorry. For you and your family, for your Dad, for all victims and survivors of suicide – and, right now, for basic human decency.

    • Hanner says:

      Marketing people at Hyundai almost certainly discussed whether this would trigger those people who have dealt with suicide. What makes it worse is that they decided it was worth it for the publicity.

    • Ermagawd, people. Really. says:

      “got through all the people that are meant to check ads for their suitability”?? Really? Censors? For commercials> I realize that you guys in here are mostly Brits, but c’mon- in ya go, feet first, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century.

      • Ian Sadler says:

        Dear “Ermagawd, people. Really.”, is there any chance that you can go away, and only return when you have an intelligent contribution to make to these discussions?

        Whether it goes by the term “censorship” or otherwise commercials need to conform to certain standards of decency. And not use suicide as the background to selling a bloody car.

        This may come as a shock to those that crave possessions above love and friendship but there are more important things in life than a sodding motor vehicle.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        “Ermagawd”… “ermagawd”? LOLs, this one’s not even TRYING to camoflage the fact that it’s a troll. Okay, you’ve had your giggle, show’s over. MOVE ALONG.

  6. Oscar India says:

    Right, powerful, incredibly moving and beautifully written. I’m just sorry you had to write it at all.

  7. Kat says:

    I just rang up the Hyundai press office and spoke to Ian Tonkin – Product & Corporate PR Manager. (touch-typed transcript)

    From our perspective it wasn’t meant to go out, we haven’t used it with the intention of advertising and marketing.

    I can’t comment further on this. I can send you through a statement that we’ve put together relating to that advert which will give our stance.

    Let me just clarify. With the video we’ve taken it down so it won’t be used in any further advertising. It just went up briefly and we’ve taken it down.

    It was initially on an official Hyundai channel but we’ve taken down. It was on briefly last week.


    So it was a legit advert and hopefully people can stop hassling about what is obviously an incredibly nasty thing.

  8. sloucher says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Jebus almighty. Hyundai really dropped the ball then fell down the insensitive tree, hitting every branch on the way down. Christ almighty. (via

  9. Laila says:

    I actually saw this advert the other day and similarly to Ian, I was shocked at first but also glad to see what I thought was going to be an advert for SOBS or a similar organisation was being aired nationally, because they are organisations that do wonderful things and deserve more publicity. When the advert concluded and I saw it was for a car I was completely sickened and actually googled the advent to see if it as real. There’s been a huge backlash but I’m still shocked it actually went to filming and then to being broadcast and NOT ONE PERSON along the way flagged up the hugely problematic choice to use suicide as a marketing tool.

  10. Hannah says:

    This was a very moving letter. Thanks Holly for expressing so clearly to Hyundai why this ad is incredibly insensitive and triggering. I was really shocked when I read the description, I can’t imagine how anyone with any sense could have allowed this to be made, unless as the worst kind of American Apparel-style shock ad designed to be pulled (but even they have been totally surpassed in tastelessness by this).

  11. juliet says:

    They truly dance with the devil. I feel sick thinking of how this creative idea would have been presented by some team of men in black shirts with a single earring and very short hair dancing around (I work in Marketing..), waiting for the client response, then congratulating each other on the way to the wine bar. Revolting.

  12. Teaceratops says:

    This has just had me in floods of tears, and I have never been through the same experience in losing a loved one to suicide. I cannot even begin to comprehend the feelings you must have had upon seeing that advert. Using the loss of life to advertise a car is not only unbelievably insensitive and stupid, but just goes to show that the high-ups in Hyundai just Do Not Care, as long as they sell one of their cars. I won’t be investing in a company that makes a joke of something so awful.

    I hope that you and your sister never have to experience something like that again. I also hope Hyundai are fined heavily for such an awful advert, with the fines going towards a charity that can help prevent another family going through what yours has been through.

    I hope that your message gets through the the right people, and will do what I can to help spread it x

  13. You're an idiot says:

    Get over it. It’s a commercial. Commercials dont have to be sensitive to everyone’s feelings. Where’s your article about how GoDaddy’s commercials aren’t sensitive to blondes with big tits? Oh, you never wrote that article? Oh, so you’re just being a self serving douche bag who believes sensitivity in commercials should only be directed towards your problems and the problems you can directly relate to? Interesting. I found the commercial both hilarious and ironic. Not only is this guy a total faggot for owning a car like this in the first place, and should therefore kill himself, but the car is so fucking gay that he can’t even manage to do so. Pretty priceless if you ask me. Stop being a pussy.

    • And You Sound Like A Sociopath says:

      True — commercials are not required to be sensitive, any more than you can be required to show an iota of sympathy for someone writing about the worst thing that ever happened to her. Your post is without doubt the most hateful thing I have ever seen on the internet or anywhere else. What’s more, you obviously take a great deal of pleasure in being so hateful. What happened in your life to make you so pathetically warped? I feel genuinely sorry for you and anyone who has the misfortune to deal with you.

      • Dennis says:

        How on earth can someone be so cruel to another. Whether this situation is seen as right or wrong by people, they still have the right to feel like that. Feelings cant be justified as “wrong” so how dare people retalliate with such hurtfullness. This poor gir/lady has lost someone very dear to her and it would seem that by being so cruel, you get some kind of “kick” out of it. Discracefull!

        I understand there has to be a medium with situations like this and it can be said to be a very “grey area” but how can such retalliation be justified?

    • Jess says:

      It seems someone is out of their depths in the intelligence department… One can pretty much guarantee that in the middle of any purposeful conversation there’s always one moron spilling out pointless bile. Crawl back under your rock “you are an idiot”.

    • pinko says:

      This goes way beyond a cultural stereotypes we’re talking about life and death here. I would say more but ..forget it.

    • adambravo (@adambravo) says:

      By the way, if by ‘faggot’ you mean ‘gay’ (and I’m guessing you’ve got a load of nicknames for other non-white, not-straight, not-Christian types like yourself), believe me, we have much better taste than that. And I’m sorry for your sad and lonely, indicated here by your total lack of sympathy for another human being.

    • Mrs D says:

      Congratulations! You’re insulting someone on the internet who’s suffered a tragedy, your parents must be proud.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      “You’re an idiot”? … Really, little troll? THAT’S your user name?

      Okay, dear. I think someone needs to sit you down and give you a few lessons.

      Lesson #1: Stop trolling and never breed.

      Lesson #2: When all else fails, refer to lesson 1.

  14. stephmur says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. I lost a loved one to suicide and don’t appreciate that tragedy made into a punch line. Not a great way to polish the brand, Hyundai.

  15. Logic says:

    So this dad couldn’t stand the thought of being parted with his daughters, so he did the one thing that would part him from them forever. Suicide logic, gotta love it.

    • gtfo says:

      Logic? Oh, go back to 9gag. This is a real person you’re talking about here you absolute fucking arsehole – not to mention the fact that you’re talking about him within metaphorical earshot of one of the ‘daughters’ you mentioned. You think anyone dealing with so much inner turmoil that they simply cannot see a future for themselves any longer is capable of using logic? Rational thought? Mental illness and rationality never go hand in hand. Fuck you.

      • Homelandsafari says:

        I agree completely with Logic and You’re an idiot. I’ve lost people to suicide too but that doesn’t mean the world can’t use it as a topic for things like advertising. Boo hoo I saw a commercial that reminded me of something tragic. It should be banned. Your father did a stupid unforgivable thing. So now no one mention suicide so that you don’t get upset. If you are that sensitive just turn your TV off and leave it that way.

      • copybot says:

        1) I never said it should be banned
        2) It wasn’t even on TV
        3) You are pitifully under-informed

    • Mrs D says:

      Instead of being angry at your insensitivity and ignorance, I’m going to assume it’s not your fault that you’re a fucking moron and try to educate you instead.
      Someone who is suicidal doesn’t have rational thinking. They have a genuine illness that effects the chemicals in their brain, much in the same way that someone with a brain tumour can often become unnaturally violent or magically start speaking a different language. It’s not a choice, it’s not an either/or decision, it seems like the only option and more often than not people genuinely believe that the people they love will be better off without them.
      There is no logic to suicide or mental illness, just as there’s no logic to any other chronic, life threatening illness.
      Now feel free to crawl back under your rock.

  16. Samantha says:

    First of all, I sympathise with the loss of your father. My dad died 11 years ago, and although it was not suicide but a heart attack I understand what it means to not have that person in your life for all those moments you wish they were there. To have that grief brought so vividly back by advertising idiots flogging a car is just disgusting. I hope people boycott Honda for buying into this insulting concept!

  17. kpbotbot says:

    Reblogged this on Our Very Existence and commented:
    While I found the ad a bit on the smart side, one cannot ignore the fact that it deals with death. An absolute lack of foresight on the part of the dudes who came up with the idea who never thought about the possibility that to some the concept might be too sensitive.

    This is sad.

  18. IntrovertedAnalyst says:

    I just wanted to say that I am so sorry about what you went through, and that some assholes in advertising made you relive that time. Hopefully they can issue some kind of formal apology rather than sweep it under the rug. Because the fact that they could get this through enough people to shoot it and post it is beyond sickening.

  19. Ide says:

    Well done Hyundai on managing to infuriate every single person who has seen this ‘ad’. Most people have been touched by suicide & it is never an apporpriate topic for advertising unless by support groups. Shame on you. Disgraceful. I hope you show some decency even at this late point and withdraw the ad. And fire that ad agency.

  20. Andrew says:

    You shouldn’t buy a VW or Audi either, here is the original comercial that Hyundai is copying:

    Not that I condone images of suicide in advertising, but maybe getting people talking about it is a lot better than pretending it doesn’t exist. Attempts at humor and car exhausts likely not the most effective way, but the total impact this has may not be entirely negative. Media often pokes fun at sexism, sexual harassment, violence, racism…suicide may be new and feel violating but it does bring a subject to the foreground that often isn’t discussed.

  21. Grey says:

    Wow, unbelievable nobody saw this and said this is inappropriate to put it mildly.

    I don’t think that they should be fined. To start fining people based on bad taste is scary. Who gets to decided what is in bad taste? People can have wildly differing views. The bad publicity is more effective form of “punishment”

  22. Sophia Ford (@TattooedTeaLady) says:

    Hey, I came across your blog after someone shared a link to this post. I am genuinely shocked, appalled, sickened, disgusted, any negative term you can think of. I cannot even begin to understand why they have made an advert like this and I truly hope they listen to both you and all the others who undoubtedly will be saying the same, and pull the ad. It’s one of the worst ads I’ve ever seen in my nearly 25 years and totally unacceptable. xo

  23. Nat Sones says:

    Your letter is heartrending. I’m astonished at such an offensive, crass and thoughtless ad and its pathetic attempt to hijack horror in the name of a ‘hook’. I’ve lost loved ones but never to this terrible circumstance and I can’t imagine how it must be to have done so. Your letter should be a wakeup call to advertisers and brands blinded by their own myths, ignorant of empathy and in love with themselves. An amazing, excoriating and utterly sad letter. Thank you, and I’m sorry you have had to live through this again, thanks to a foolish company and arrogant advertising.

  24. tracy says:

    Wow, ur father’s death is sad but he chose to do that to u guys, dont blame an advert for ur weakness for a weak person! The ad is good, now others cant use hyundai to kill themselves, congrats!

    • vlaughlin says:

      Someone who has killed themselves is not weak. They were just blinded to the fact that there are other options. I should know–I attempted once. Shut your mouth and stop pretending to know why her father did that. He felt like there was no other way out of the darkness all around him. To him, it was the choice of live and suffer, or die and be free.

      Don’t spew any more hate.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      LOLs, obvious troll is obvious. Oh well, at least this “tracy” one is less obvious than the ones above it, but that’s like saying a turd is less smelly that the ones around it…

  25. Brenda Kilgour says:

    Most likely a “scam ad” created by the Hyundai ad agency, Innocean (probably with some level of consent from Hyundai), to enter in award shows. It follows on the heels of a print ad, created by the same agency for Hyundai’s sister brand Kia, that depicts a school teacher en flagrante with one of his young female students. That ad won a Cannes Lion (the most prestigious award in the advertising industry) two years ago. What that says about the state of mind of advertising creative people — and their clients — is for you to judge.

    • Geoffrey Brent says:

      It is not “censorship” to point out when somebody is being a jerk. It is not “censorship” to let that affect your decision on whether to do business with them.

      If she’d called for the ad to be banned, THAT would have been censorship (not automatically a bad thing), but if you’d read what she actually wrote, you’d know she didn’t call for a ban.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Pithy comment, no misspelled words to worry about, sound like it could be written by an actual person… I’d give this trolling a 5.7/10

      Now GTFO, “dear” Hugh.

  26. Stephen says:

    I wonder if the phrase “Any publicity is good publicity” is always applicable when it comes to product awareness.

    Reason being that due to this offensive lack of judgement – I now know that Hyundai believe their cars to have low emissions.

    However I’m very cynical so maybe I’m just seeing a reason where there isn’t one.

    But I just can’t believe anyone could “accidently” think sucide is a good topic to use in advertising…

  27. Joy says:

    I am at work trying not to cry having read your post. Thank you for writing this post and for showing us that there is a lline which adverts should not cross over.

    I lost my Dad this year to a brain tumour and miss him so much, so I feel some of the loss you describe. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. How I wish this advert was about the Samaritans or mental health services and how I wish that they had been there for your Dad.

    And no I won’t be buying Hyundai.

  28. liveotherwise says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, and for the pain that you’ve felt from this experience. Here’s hoping someone at this agency and the company learns a lesson about what is appropriate.

  29. Jane says:

    I watched this ad earlier in the week and thought it was disgusting. After reading your reaction I can’t even bring myself to look at it again. It’s just the lowest common denominator.

  30. dogdelafrog says:

    There’s a cute radio advert that runs here in the States locally. It goes something along the lines of: ‘Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Hyundai’. Myself and my wife always have fun shouting it at each other. Simple, effective advertising that people remember.

    This repellent advert depicts exactly, the way my own father chose to end his own life. Unlike and thanks to Holly, I’ve been fortunate to have the choice not watch the ad and re-experience the memories and loss that this brought to my family and myself.

    Regardless of the whether the ad was supposed to be run or not, the decision to approve such a script and even then go ahead and film it was abhorrent. Money and resource was authorized. Actors, cameramen, a director, sound people were booked and they arrived and they did their work and they went home to their families. A video editor took their time to carefully weave as much atmosphere and emotion into what had been filmed. Despite all of this, did no-one think, perhaps this is wrong?

    While I understand that there is a great deal of blame to lay at the door of the agency, Innocean, these things don’t get released by mistake, they just don’t – I too work and have worked for large corporations where these decisions aren’t taken lightly – but in this case, the decision to not just release, but create seems to have been taken blindly and for that lack of care, there should be consequences.

    Even having seen similar ‘scenes’ in tv dramas or movies, I never thought I would be affected by anything as sad and at the same time mundane as a company attempting to profit from those comtemplating taking their own lives.

    The ‘suicide ad’ now has me associating Hyundai with a very different things and I think it’s fair to say I won’t be purchasing one on either a ‘Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Hyundai’ or any day of the week come to that.

  31. Jacquina says:

    This is awful. My dad committed suicide in the way which they show in the advert, I am disgusted and appalled. How could this be allowed? Well done for writing this post. It shows amazing strength. I don’t think I could have done it about my Dad so I’m sharing your post and encouraging others to report this advert instead. Thank you xo

  32. CineBill says:

    I had a friend of many years who committed suicide in this manner. This appallingly insensitive ad opened many old wounds of mine.

  33. 2299 says:

    I am in shock, pure and utter shock. If ever there has been a marketing campaign that proves that a company is only interested in profit and doesn’t care about people this is it.

    I couldn’t care less that they have since withdrawn it. The problem is they made it in the first place. They presumed it was acceptable to do this, and I am sure this got ok’d by many many people during its ‘thought, approved, made and distributed’ stage.

    Nothing will ever change that….well just like suicide there is no coming back from this. Whilst my experience was from a different suicide method it does not reduce the horror. No-one should ever be subjected to seeing this.

    Thank you Holly for bringing this to my attention, to everyone’s attention.

  34. Karen says:

    Well done for writing such an eloquent response to a frankly horrible advert and attitude shown by Hyundai. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad – my heart goes out to you. I was in tears reading this and I am very very fortunate to still have my beloved Daddy.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Dear “kind sir” – yes, you “jonathan”, yes it’s sarcasm – As you can see, you’re at the bottom of the page, meaning your trolling will not be seen by as many people as you’d hoped. SHAME.

  35. Lorelei Mathias (@LoreleiMathias) says:

    Hi Holly. I’m so sorry to hear about your father. I’ve sent this the team at BMB who work on CALM (the suicide charity that aims to tackle male suicide). Maybe Hyundai could try and offset their insane behaviour by donating a hefty sum of money to CALM… Either way, this is a beautiful, brave letter and I hope the ‘writers’ of the ‘ad’ never work again. Lolx

      • Ronnie J says:

        And of course she immediately responds to the comment from someone who works at a decent agency, in the hopes of getting a job there (not gonna happen by the way). Cold, cynical and cold. People can see through this shit Holly.

      • Ronnie J says:

        Good work not approving my comment Brockwell you self serving cunt, now it’s totally obvious that you are just using your father’s suicide to try and get publicity for your own failing career. No wonder your book sucks. No wonder Albion sacked you (the only half decent agency you’ve ever worked for and they sacked you for being shit), you are a fairly ok copywriter at best, but a totally shit and worthless creative, you can string words together but you are incapable of real creativity and your book reflects that. You are a sick fuck for using your old man’s mental illness and subsequent suicide to coldly further your own career in advertising. Fortunately your book says more than “Boo hoo my dad is dead” whining, and your book says one thing: “I am a shit creative”

        Fuck you and die you fat ginger cunt. No wonder you can’t get a job, or a boyfriend.

      • Ronnie J says:

        By the way Brockwell – I’ve got two words for you. Damaged goods. You think any man is going to go near you now with your daddy issues? Your “bisexuality” and sharing details of your personal life on twitter marked you out as a fucking wacko, but this shit is the icing on the cake. You are damaged goods and people can smell it for a mile away. Good luck trawling dating websites looking for a man – you’re going to need all the luck you can get, even in that cesspool of your fellow rejects.

  36. Vicky says:

    Reblogged this on Sunflower Communications and commented:
    Any businesses out there thinking that they’d quite like a viral ad campaign? That any and all publicity and exposure is good? Well, it’s not. Hyundai got it badly wrong here. REALLY badly wrong. This is how NOT to do it.

    It’s not about people being overly sensitive or too easily offended. It’s about a horrible advert, in really bad taste, being put out there because the ad agency and company marketing department are too lazy and creatively stunted to come up with something really funny or moving. There are many, many other and better campaigns out there.

    If you want to know how to do viral properly, go and see Old Spice.

  37. jackiecameronwriter says:

    It really is quite astonishing that whoever signed off on this ad campaign thought this was clever. There’s a serious lack of empathy somewhere in that marketing dept. Someone should be fired. It was very brave of you to write this, Holly.

  38. Ricardo Montelban says:

    You know what, before I read all the ‘shocked’ and ‘horrified’ comments here, I laughed at this advert. Why? Because I can detach reality from advertising shock tactics and people that are ‘shocked’ and ‘sickened’ generally aren’t and just go about there lives 30 seconds later.

    Hands up how many of you were still sitting staring blankly at the TV 30 minutes after the ad had been on? Not many I’m willing to bet. I get ‘sickned’ and ‘horrified’ at things like the Twin Towers collapsing, people letting off random bombs in Boston, a building collapsing in India killing everyone inside but I go about my life again a short while later, not at a car advert, Some people really need to get a real perspective on things.

    I completely understand your point of view if its happend to you but also, I’ve had a dog run over and killed by a car who didn’t see him but I don’t call up the RSPCA when they put an ‘unless money is given to their fund, all these dogs will have to be put down’ advert and call them all sick for upsetting me, get a hold of yourselves.

    I’ll get pelters for this post but ask yourself this, in reality, were you really ‘shocked’ and ‘horrified’, were you REALLY? Or are you just wanting to put your tuppence worth in because you can…

    Oh yeah, remember, the guy actually survives!

    • Geoffrey Brent says:

      I know how you feel, Ricky. I get the same way when people whine about how eating peanuts makes them choke to death. I completely understand their point of view, but me, I just don’t let my immune system react to peanuts, and thirty seconds after a peanut butter sandwich I’m off going about my life. Some people are oversensitive.

      And it’s very reasonable to compare a charity asking people to help save a dog’s life to the pain somebody feels having their father’s death evoked in an attempt to flog cars.


    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Dear “Ricardo”,

      Since you seem to be unaware of this, and I am such a kind soul, I shall give you a bit of helpful information:

      If your trolling goes on for more than four sentences, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Now, GTFO. You’ve had your giggle.

  39. Kate Bromley says:

    I’m shaking. You have my empathy, my sympathy, my indignation, and my support. I can’t imagine the meeting where human beings sat around a conference table and discussed this concept, and no one said, “this is unconscionable.”

  40. Soup Badger says:

    Oh boo hoo.
    Something makes you sad and you’re entitled to everything catering to your every whim.

    Grow up. The World doesn’t revolve around you.

    • Ian in Italy says:

      Back to the soup kitchen Badger you insensitive pratt. Hope being called a pratt doesn’t offend you by the way!

    • Ian Sadler says:

      no, the world revolves around the Sun. That’s the big bright object in the sky that you can see during daylight hours. Any other crucial information that you require to drag yourself out of the bigoted unfeeling Dark Age that you seem to be trapped in?

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Hmm, pithy? Check. Blatant Idiocy on display? Check. Pretense of insulting the author’s feelings directly? Check.

      4/10, better than basic, but still a fail troll. Now GTFO.

  41. domsparkes (@domsparkes) says:

    Absolutely horrific and I can only echo everyone’s thoughts here. How this ever got past even a back of a napkin scribble is beyond me. Thank you for sharing this Holly, you shouldn’t have had to but hopefully it brings this hideous type of insensitivity to people’s attention – especially those commissioning and creating marketing campaigns.

  42. Anonymous Person says:

    like yourself, my father, for reasons that seemed good to him at the time, took his own life, and shattered his family’s in this way.

    To even make this film suggests a detachment from common humanity

  43. Rosie says:

    Thankyou Holly for your very well written open letter. I saw it via twitter.
    This is a horrible advert .
    This is also upsetting for people currently suffering with mental illness.
    Watching it leaves awful thoughts and a sick feeling .Its shocking to think how many people would have been involved and worked on this ad from the first idea.
    Thankyou for your letter
    Samaritans 24/7
    08457 90 90 90 (UK)

  44. socmot (@socmot) says:

    Asian cultures are totally against humiliating or upsetting people or making them “lose face”. I would guess that Hyundai corporate HQ in Seoul would be horrified at this advertisement.

  45. stephen W says:

    Absolutely brilliant piece of advertising…. Poignant, funny, and emotional….. .Lighten the hell up people… .If your family members committed suicide its their own stupidity….. Don’t try to censor comedy for the rest of the world……

  46. Derek says:

    I think its very distasteful that you are using your outrage over this commercial to promote your blog. If you find it so offenstive, why are you drawing attention to it?

    • Ian Sadler says:

      This is nothing to do with self-promotion. It’s about calling attention to a repulsive, ill-judged and insensitive piece of marketing that should never have made it beyond the “I’ve got this great idea…” stage of conception.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Hmm, using a question in a manner similar to a “logic bomb” to troll? Well, this is a new one for me. I guess you really do learn new things about trolls every day.

      Oh. Right. Still a fail troll. Forgot to mention that. Sorry… not.

  47. Melissa says:

    The ad is compelling and powerful. 100% water emissions. You can’t forget that. For the 99.5% of buyers who are not exposed to suicide, this ad works. You can’t make an ad for everyone, just the majority

      • JLMS says:

        That is nonsense. If what you say was true somebody in either organization would have raised concerns.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      99.5% of trolls use a boy’s name or a nonsense handle. This one uses a girl’s, and a “Melissa” at that… interesting.

      Still a fail troll. Now GTFO. Let the grown-ups talk.

  48. rachel says:

    Thank you Holly for your bravery in telling us your heatbreaking story. And shame on you Hyundai. What were your clients & creatives thinking? I’m interested to hear your response to Holly’s letter. But like you chose to ignore the horrendous impact that suicide brings, are you choosing to ignore this letter also?

  49. Vicki P says:

    Aside from being insensitive, distasteful, upsetting etc which may or may not be grounds for an advert being banned this video is DANGEROUS. I used to work for a mental health charity and it’s what is known as triggering- ie watching this video could trigger someone who is very distressed to want to replicate what they see and take their own life, either my copycat technique or otherwise.


    Someone is really, really upset and distressed, but just hanging on in there.

    They watch that video.

    It tips them over the edge and reminds them of suicide as an option.

    They attempt to take their own life.

    They may die.

  50. Edward Balfrey says:

    IT. IS. COMEDY. The world does not stop and start at your convenience you miserable piece of shits. All of you are selfish into believing that you can censor someone else’s comic relief just because you were offended by something. People like you are offended by anything! Just because you have an opinion does not mean you have the right to subdue someone else’s thoughts. Entitled priss’ you all are.

    • Ian Sadler says:

      IT. IS. AN. ADVERT. It’s not an extract from a comedy show. If you’re so desperate to label this as a piece of comedy then why not download it and play it over and over again so that tears of joy can roll down your face? Those of us possessing even a shred of decency will continue to view it for what it truly is – a crass, ill-conceived and offensive piece of marketing.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      IT. IS. AN OBVIOUS TROLL. Still, using a full name in an attempt to sound like a legitimate person? We can’t fault this one for trying… oh, wait, we can.

  51. Jenny OHenry says:


    I’m sorry about your dad, it must have been (and continue to be) awful.

    However everyone is offended or upset by something, so when we encounter those things, we need to deal with them and recognise that to most people, it doesn’t matter a damn bit.

    Your emotions don’t get to control what is and isn’t shown on TV.

    • Mark says:

      Freedom of speech was extended to corporate interests several years ago, but anyone who has the capacity to think through ethics will conclude that attempts to sell a product aren’t free speech for those purposes. Advertising attempts to generate desire based upon mainly conservative ideas of fitting in or being a savvy person in some way ie generally narrowing the possibilities of self expression.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:


      Using a “trigger warning” in front of a troll may lead to a severe profusion of idiocy, starting with the urge to use a name like “OHenry” with the apostrophe missing as a troll handle.

  52. Mark says:

    Just a note of support. I can’t effect any real help to you, of course. You might want to step away from the blog whilst the inevitable trolls appear. Most people who read about this will think thoughts of support. Well written. Take care.

  53. Volchek says:

    You know … if this is how YOU react to a comercial – imagine how people react seeing people killing people on TV every day. Please, it’s not a terrible commercial.

    It’s a tragic thing that happen to your family. And I’m not here to tell you how to move on, but getting all angry up over a commercial isn’t probably helping. You have to separate your situation and Hundui’s message. Yes, this commercial is very edgy and bold. I don’t get all worked up over it. I liked it.

    • Volchek says:

      what I ment in the fitst paragraph is that people die from guns every day. There’s so much violence we see on TV, movies, comedy, etc. C’mon – you can’t just take things personal every time. You have to understand that this commercial wasn’t intended to offend you at all. It just happens that you, unfortunately had the experience of such thing and it’ painful. Well, then don’t watch it. I’m not trolling, I’m being real.

    • adambravo (@adambravo) says:

      Yes, but I can choose whether I want to watch the evening news, or CSI, a Lifetime movie about suicide or an old war movie. I certainly wouldn’t expect my father’s suicide to be re-created in a car advert.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Hm, no use of overt idiocy? Hmm, maybe this one isn’t a troll after a- Oh, no, wait wait… “isn’t probably helping”… “Hundui”… “I’m not here to tell you how to move on” *one sentence later* “You have to separate your situation”… “Yes this– Okay, okay, too many to list here.

      GTFO troll.

  54. Paul says:

    What a bunch of bollocks its an advert. Go and see a Psychologist (my profession) if it offends you that much!

    • Jess Mary says:

      You’re hardly a good advert for your own profession are you, Paul? Tell you what, why don’t you enlighten us with your full name and website, so that if we are ever in need of your evident wisdom and expertise, we can look you up?

  55. Dan says:

    Both a clever but terrible idea for an ad. One of those that gets an immediate reaction in the office, usually a guilty laugh, but then everyone acknowledges it would be very poor taste and ridiculously bad for the brand to actually implement.

    Great post. Although I’m so, so sorry you ever had to write it.

  56. leCLEMS says:

    I feel sorry for you, for 2 reasons,
    first because you had a tragic loss in your life and I feel sorry for you.
    Secondly and mostly because you cannot dissociate your experience from the outside world. I mean I am sorry about what happened to your dad, but on the other hand you cannot judge a commercial (or any kind of subject) just because you are related to it in one way or an other.
    You should actually be glad that someone make clean cars, even happier that someone who is having a thought time wild have harder time to commit suicide …
    If, because it is related to your (or anybody)’s history, we should not talk about it, then let’s talk about nothing … every one has history about something, whether it is suicide/rape/violence/death …

    In a way Hyundai does a very effective ad, it associate what we all commonly assume with care : gas, use it into the worst possible case (actually using Nazis killing trisomics with those might have been the worst possible case, making your second … but anyway) suicide, and change the outcome by mentioning that no … it is just water … and which is by an awesome improvement … but you might prefer some polution or i don’t know

    That is a good ad, well thought, and actually raising one big issue suicide … you know maybe if people could sometime talk about it, well it help. If they can’t well …

    anyway I don’t give a f*** about Hyundai, and I wouldn’t care about your post, unless within it there would be a small smell of “let’s not speak about that cause it disturb me” which is not in anyway and argument or even position …

    You rant about advertising … I should rant about rants about advertising

    woaw I spend lot’s of time on this.

    Cheers …

    • David Stringer says:

      I’m sorry, but I totally disagree with you, the blogger is right to be upset, and ultimately offended by the ad.

      Someone who’s been through a traumatic experience will be reminded and upset from time to time. If a drama were to deal with the subject seriously, or an article discuss what’s often a hidden secret openly, then it’s worthwhile re-opening that wound for the greater societal gain.

      Using such a dark subject in order to shift units is tasteless in my opinion. To use an example you hinted at, if an advert had shown huddled masses being horded into a room by uniformed soldiers, only for the ‘hilarious twist’ to be that they were just taking them in there to receive water vapour, don’t you think that would be a bit tasteless?

    • David says:

      I’m not sure which I find more disturbing – the insensitivity of Hyundai and their ad agency, or the number of cruel responses I see posted here. To those of you who want to insult the writer and her deceased father, I can only ask, “Have you no shame?” Seeing some of your responses, I no longer wonder how such an ad could be created. It’s a sad day when we can no longer have compassion for someone we don’t know, and find that insults and insensitive questions are an appropriate response to a heartfelt expression of opposition to a distasteful ad. Again, shame on you who feel that this blog post is an invitation to be mean and insensitive.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      “woaw I spend lot’s of time on this”

      Oh what a SHAME. This troll almost made it to the very end of the post, only to drop its disguise in the last two sentences.

      tl;dr posts are always tricky for trolls to hide in. Better to keep it simple from now on, “dear” leCLEMS. Now GTFO and go back to Reddit.

  57. lornatooley says:

    Reblogged this on lornatooley's Blog and commented:
    I can’t believe that at no stage did someone tell them that this was a bad idea. That it is in extremely poor taste. Even if you are lucky enough to have never been personally affected by suicide, even someone with the thickest skin would have the common sense and compassion to know this is in poor taste

  58. Rodney says:

    The commercial is insensitive.
    Intersting discussion in a planning room, should ot have gone farther.
    We are presently looking At cars and this ad (not the touching letter) has made me look elsewhere.
    I vote for this ad in two ways. I got buy from a different manufacturer. I change the channel.

  59. Hyundai says:

    Statement from Hyundai:

    ‘Hyundai understands that the video has caused offence. We apologize unreservedly. The video has been taken down and will not be used in any of our advertising or marketing.’ (ends)

  60. Josh Dyan says:

    I own a Marketing company and a Hyundai. This is repulsive creative. Lets not even consider you’re personal situation which in itself is obviously very sad.

    What creative director allowed this to go to client. What account person said “yes this is perfect for the brand” and finally, who was the genius in Marketing at Hyundai that allowed this to be shot and aired.

    Seriously Innocean, the best you could come up with for the benefits of “water based emissions” was that you can’t kill yourself with your client’s product? Wow you guys are soooo edgy and creative….oh ya, and not very bright.

    • Molly Cantrell-Kraig says:

      Exactly. Wouldn’t a better ad have been to show ducks wearing raincoats playing in the puddles left by the car? flowers springing up in it’s path? Jealous-looking clouds who were upset with the car cutting in on their “rainmaking” turf? No. Let’s go with a guy prepping for (and failing at) suicide.

  61. Timmy says:

    From a business prospective I just don’t understand how they could think this was an an effective way to brand their vehicle. Buy our car because you can’t kill yourself in it. Sweet!

  62. Jim Park says:

    Wow, people are offended over absolutely anything these days. Deal with your loss on your own and quit trying to censor the rest of the world to accommodate your personal issues.

  63. Stilli (@stillicides) says:

    This piece (and the advert) hit my like a punch to the gut. You’ve articulate the pain so *well*. I’m so, so sorry for your loss and for the misery this advert caused you.

    To all you worthless fucks telling us to just ‘get over it’. Have you ever been suicidal? Have you ever lost someone to suicide? No? Then shut the fuck up, you soulless bastards.

    Even if this advert wasn’t horrifyingly cruel to survivors of suicide (which it is), it’s fucking DANGEROUS. Did you know suiciude’s infectious? Becuase it is. It’s why the media shuoldn’t report on methods used – someone close to the edge already might be inspired to go and try this as a method of ending their own lives. Don’t believe me? Do some fucking research – this is a well-known phenomenon. So as well as causing huge distress to survivors of suicide, and as well as enraging any decent human being with a shred of empathy, this advert could literally kill someone.

    Fuck. Sorry for the tirade, I’m ridiculously angry at some of these comments on your beautiful piece. I hope you’re okay. xx

  64. dizzy says:

    Suicide affects alot of us, myself included, but you can not relate everything you see or hear to your own situation… Don’t take it so personally!!

  65. cathy says:

    Your letter is very inspiring. This is a disgusting and offensive piece of advertising, and also ineffective in my opinion.

  66. blkframeglasses says:

    Everyday all over the world people make the decision to take their own lives and selfishly leave everyone/thing behind. Be angry with them. I know that it is hard to be reminded of a friend, or family members suicide…but if that person had not killed him/herself then you would never run the risk of being reminded of it.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        No…I am pretty sure that suicide is still defined as “intentionally killing oneself.”

      • blkframeglasses says:

        What it is a selfish act that has terrible effects on those left behind.

        So how am I misinformed?

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Give me any reason(s) for suicide 1) that would not make it a selfish act and 2) where those left behind couldn’t blame the person for killing his/herself.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Does it really matter why someone does it…what reasons they have for doing it? It is their decision and they leave us to deal with the emotional fallout.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Give me any reason(s) for suicide 1) that would not make it a selfish act and 2) where those left behind couldn’t blame the person for killing his/herself.

      • Amanda says:

        and I didn’t actually say that I disagreed with that. I certainly disagree with the suggestion that we should be angry with those who take their own life by suicide.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Why do you disagree? Let’s take this case…if her father hadn’t killed himself (for whatever reason) then she wouldn’t have had this reaction to the ad. Is it the fault of Hyundai or the ad agency that she feels this way? Sure, in part, but ultimately if her father had picked life over death then she wouldn’t feel this way…not to mention the years of pain since that day.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        How is it not?

        Father makes a choice to kill himself…girl must live with the pain of that choice for the rest of her life…girl views ad depicting a similar suicide and has a terrible reaction because it reminds her of the choice her father made.

        Why shouldn’t all of this be blamed on the father?

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Bullying. Financial troubles. Troubles at work. Troubles at home. Cheating spouses. Mental illness. Things are too tough. Anyone could kill themselves for any reason. the bottom line is that without the suicide of her father (for whatever reason) she wouldn’t have had this reaction. She wouldn’t have had to live with years of pain.

      • Amanda says:

        No. Sorry. I didn’t ask what factors cause people to take their own life.

        I asked what is the reason that they do it. What is the reason they choose death over life?

        In general, rather than in this specific case.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        “Thought not.” Really? That is it?

        You said that I was misinformed, but you haven’t given me an example as to what caused you to say that. If my reasons are “factors” then that only leaves one reason has to way someone would make the choice of life over death…”it is easier.”

        If a person thinks that it is “easier” to die and they kill themselves then they are to blame because it was their choice.

      • Amanda says:

        their choice, yes.

        Can you imagine being in such emotional pain that you would actually willingly ‘choose’ that, that you would actually put others choose to put others through that, to put those who you love more than anything in the world through that?

      • blkframeglasses says:

        How does this show that I am misinformed? You’ve failed to answer my questions. You’ve failed to show me how I am misinformed. Once a person hits that point and kills themselves there is no one to blame but themselves. No one killed them. No one caused their friends and family pain…they did. They are the ones who should get the blame.

      • Amanda says:

        Can you imagine it actually feeling that despairing, for you to feel like you cannot take another second of feeling that way anymore?

        Humour me for now.

        And I am not talking here about who is to ‘blame’. This was never a case of who was to blame. My original point was about whether we should be angry at them

      • blkframeglasses says:

        I can.

        Now if you could, please tell me how I am misinformed about suicide? That was your point. I understand that we disagree on whether or not to be angry with those persons who has killed themselves…but how am I misinformed about suicide.

      • Amanda says:

        My opinion is that you are misinformed that it is something to be angry at the person about.

        I cannot see how it would be necessary to feel angry at a person who does that. How it would be necessary to feel anything but compassion and sadness.

        To feel emotional pain that is so unbearable that you cannot take another second of being alive. To feel such emotional pain that you choose to be dead… to give up your life… including putting those who you love through that?

        That is truly saddening. To give up your life because you are in such emotional pain. To likely have lived in that turmoil, and with that guilt weighing down on you likely for so long

        I understand that you have a completely different opinion on it though, and see suicide as a much more black and white subject than I do, and you are of course entitled to do so.

        You will have your own reasons for doing so, and that is fine.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Me thinking that a person lives after a successful suicide attempt would make me misinformed about suicide. Us having different opinions on whether or not it is okay to be angry with the person who has taken their own life doesn’t make me misinformed…it just means that my view is different from yours.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Successful would mean that they accomplished their goal…they died. If I thought that a person lived after a successful suicide attempt then I would be wrong (misinformed). I was showing the difference between being misinformed, and what we have.

      • Amanda says:

        There are a lot of other ways to be misinformed about suicide, other than the factual does a person live after they die by suicide

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Jesus…that was just an example. I was making a point that I am not misinformed, we just have a difference of opinion.

      • Jonathan Grand says:

        Oh yeah. You have no idea what you’re talking about when you talk about suicide.

        It doesn’t mean I don’t agree with your point – it’s completely absurd to expect people to remove ads just because it reminds you of your dead daddy. It’s tragic – but your dead daddy is your problem to cope with, not Hyundai’s.

        Are we banning every single movie that shows people getting murdered just because some people might have had a loved one murdered?
        Your painful memories are not more important than freedom of speech.

        So I do agree with you – but when you talk about suicide you just sound ignorant.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        “You have no idea what you’re talking about when you talk about suicide.” Please explain. Also, if I came off as ignorant I apologize.

      • Amanda says:

        oh and it is OF COURSE ok to feel angry at the person who took their life by suicide. This is actually quite natural.

        But the phrase ‘be angry at them’ in your original comment, implied to me that you were saying that people ‘should’ be angry at them.

        I have never suggested that it is not ok to feel angry at someone who takes their life by suicide.

        I disagreed with the fact that we ‘should’ feel angry at those who take their life by suicide, so perhaps I misinterpreted ‘be angry at them’ wrong.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        My comment was a result of people (commenters and the author) being angry with Hyundai and Innocean. I wasn’t saying be angry at the dead forever…but rather, if this ad angers you because it hits close to home it isn’t the fault of Hyundai or Innocean…it is the fault of whomever committed suicide, and direct your anger accordingly.

      • Amanda says:

        Ok. I see the difference.

        But there are suicide reporting guidelines for reasons other than just causing upset to those who have lost someone to suicide. There are lots of other reasons why people should be angry at the ad makers, and an ad like this is irresponsible and could cause a lot of damage in a lot of way.

        This is based on a lot of research that the Samaritans and other agencies have done, and not just my opinion.

      • Jonathan Grand says:

        “it is the fault of whomever committed suicide”

        That shows you have no qualification to even talk about suicide. Your understanding of what it means is preschool level, at best. Suicide is caused by extreme depression. Are you suggesting depressed people are at fault for being depressed? No one wants to be depressed. Advanced stages of depression might train the individual to get comfortable in the position of victim, yes – but that’s a way of coping with depression, not the cause of it. Do you understand now where your logic problem lies?

      • Frank says:

        Blaming someone for being in the depths of depression — so depressed that they simply cannot stand the idea of continuing to feel the way they feel for even one more minute — is essentially the same as blaming someone for having terminal cancer. No one “chooses” to be suicidal any more than they would “choose” to have cancer. Surely you are aware that society as a whole assumes that most suicidal persons are irrational, virtually by definition. Hence involuntary commitment and treatment. The severely depressed, by the very nature of their disease, are often incapable of recognizing that recovery may be possible. By their distorted perception, they will always be (a) profoundly miserable, and thus (b) a horrible, useless burden to those they love. If a man deeply, truly believes (even if he is utterly mistaken) that not just he, but also those he loves, will be better off after he is dead, then suicide makes horribly perfect sense.

      • blkframeglasses says:

        Sorry for the errors I’m in a rush. *Death over life. *various spelling errors. My apologies.

      • Frank says:

        Amanda, I commend you for your patience with blkframeglasses,, but I think you may wasting your energy. I suspect that he needs (or thinks he needs) his anger in order to keep going; i.e., he is afraid that if he acknowledges the pain that drove the person he loved to suicide, he would have to feel sympathy for that pain, and deal directly with his grief instead of papering it over with rage.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      LOLs, oh wow, this is such a fail bit of trolling. I’m surprised it got even one response, and for such a long string of responses to follow! I’m sure you’re very proud.

      Now GTFO “blkframeglasses”, back under the rock you go.

  67. Mike says:

    My own father took his own life in 1983 (using a firearm, not a car as shown in this ad, so the ad didn’t affect me quite like it would have Ms. Brockwell [An open letter to Innocean and Hyundai ], but I’m in complete sympathy with her). Some things shouldn’t be made light of.

    A car that burns fuel so cleanly that it leaves only water vapor for exhaust would be impressive if it had been developed by human beings. But that technology is wasted on me until some manufacturer other than Hyundai/Kia (both of which are owned by the same Korean conglomerate) picks it up.

    Yes, it is just an ad. No, they don’t have to take into account who might be upset or offended by something depicted in it. But I don’t have to buy their product. (Hyundais have had crappy styling over the last few years anyway . . . Other automakers have had their styling fails: these usually start to right themselves after a few years of stagnant sales. With Hyundai, after this ad, for me, it’s going to take at least that long . . .)

  68. Michele K. Henderson says:

    This was really in poor taste. I even knew what this was all about before I watched it, and it was STILL disturbing to see this man in so much pain, heavy stuff on his mind. I wasn’t thinking about the car at all, just what is going on that he feels he has no way out? It’s one thing to brainstorm an ad idea in a creative meeting that might be insensitive to people, but it is clearly something else to approve it, show it to a client, hire an actor, director, crew, etc and film it, and THEN release it ANYWHERE, even on a “Hyundai” site! What were they thinking?
    Sure you can say, Hyundai has a “right” to put out what they want, but I certainly am part of Hyundai’s biggest target group, and this has REALLY turned me off! In fact, I will never even CONSIDER a Hyundai after seeing this, knowing their top brass are such insensitive jerks, especially with suicide on the rise from returning U.S. soldiers too. Is their point to exercise their right to do what they want, or is it to establish brand recognition and bring in customers? Sounds like this company is being run by a bunch of overly-entitled frat boys making fun of the least popular guy in class. Shameful.

  69. Bill says:

    haha, funny ad
    i had a feeling the emissions wouldn’t kill him

    as for the person writing the letter, its called freedom of speech, if you dont like the commercial dont watch it, if you dont like the brand dont buy it
    move on

  70. trina1972 says:

    Reblogged this on Life's a Blog and commented:
    Not impressed with Hyundai at this moment. Displaying any act of violence or a suicide attempt, just fuels the fire within.

  71. zooks says:

    How is associating suicide with a car going to help the car’s sales?
    How about a man blowing his brains out inside a luxury sedan to demonstrate noise control next time?

    Good job guys, great way to completely overshadow water emissions with a depressing, morbid theme. Give yourselves a pat on the back.
    Not offended, just can’t believe marketing nowadays.

  72. Jeni says:

    Goodness. I’m so sorry for your loss and for the many insensitive comments, too. Hyundai aren’t the only folks who should give their head a shake.

  73. Elaine Fogarty says:

    There’s a part of me that aches deeply in the face of such insensitivity, a part that cringes as I process the triggering effect, a part that struggles to rationaize the nature of intent and right of free speach, but mainly I am just intolerately saddened when confronted by scale of education still needed about mental illness and the challenges and dangers faced daily by 1 in 4 of the population.

  74. Paul Baker (@maidbloke) says:

    I don’t understand why the guy who came up with “How about using suicide to sell the Hyundai?” at the brain storm meeting was ever listened to seriously. And I don’t understand how, between that moment and the advert being produced, no one had the balls to stand up and say “Hey, this is a truly terrible and tasteless idea.”

  75. Pingback: Hyundai Ad
  76. Sam says:

    We are encouraged to think that it is ok to use issues such as suicide, bullying, body image and sexuality to promote products, and that its occurrence in daily life is normal and often, so that we should accept it as a “social norm”. However, it is this kind of thinking and acceptance that make these ads perpetuate, grow and stimulate ignorance and complacency. We will never progress as a society if we continue to accept what is wrong, what is unacceptable and what we allow to be tolerable. Just look at the generation that is growing up to rule you later in life…sad.

  77. They Need To Go says:

    Reblogged this on They Need To Go and commented:
    I understand that companies need to come up with creative ideas to keep their products in our minds, to make us more likely to buy. There are times, however, when companies go too far with insensitivity and lack of understanding of certain issues when trying to accomplish that goal. Suicide is not something to be taken lightly, and someone considering suicide needs help. The man who couldn’t kill himself because of Hyundai’s 100% water emissions would simply find another way to do it. Hyundai isn’t sending the right message with this ad, and I can understand this woman’s anger and sadness that they would create something like this. Share far and wide; help get Hyundai to pull this ad.

  78. asodpo says:

    Ok, moral of the story: every time we are reminded of our dead relatives we need to get on the net and tell how bab that makes us feel.
    Please, tell this to every person that has loss somebody in a gun suicide so they can all bitch up about guns.

  79. Le Clown says:

    This comment might appear benign, but this post should be Freshly Pressed. The message is powerful, and I hope it reaches a wider audience. I’ll be sending it to the FP peeps on Twitter. I’m sorry about your loss. My father committed suicide, and it’s an issue I’m quite sensitive about myself.
    Le Clown

    • on thehomefrontandbeyond says:

      As usual you are doing the perfect thing — why some people are being so insensitive is hard to understand–when someone is in pain you do not question it, you are compassionate, you feel for them, you do not kick them while they are down.

  80. Michael says:

    Sorry for your loss.

    I am also sorry that people can’t disagree with you without being offensive or aggressive. They are pathetic.

    As someone who has had a lifetime of living with people suffering from mental illness I know that the suicidal thoughts are not selfish, people genuinely feel that is for the best – it is not weakness and anyone commenting and saying that it is should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

  81. Dustin says:

    You should be more upset with your father for being the coward who left you and his two daughters behind because he couldn’t handle life like a man

  82. Lence Chiusinco says:

    If I may ask something without being overtly insensitive:

    What precisely haunted your father to the point where he would decide to leave people he clearly loved dearly? From his letter it did seem that he did despite teh fact that he knew he would miss you all so.

    • claggers says:

      My guess: He had been in advertising all his life and it had hollowed his soul so much that he simply took Bill Hicks’ sage advice…

    • copybot says:

      A lot of people have asked this and I’ve deleted most of the posts. I’m not going to go into it. It’s not relevant and you, a random internet person, do not need to know.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        Feel free to delete some of the more obvious trolls, too, copybot. I’ve flagged most of them for you already. It’s a shame, but it needs to be done. Nothing can be gained by allowing the idiocy to choke out the actual, relevant responses to your very poignant article.

  83. ShamanicEye says:

    It’s dark humor and it made its point clear. What’s the biggy? We all die but what we celebrate is life. Those who commit suicide are fiercely brave and it’s a choice (THEIR choice). But then we’re going to get into Western “Civilization” vs Easter Philosophy. Eating McDonalds is a form of suicide, yet do we protest the McRib commercial?

    • dan says:

      The writer was traumatized as a young girl by a horrific life event over which she had no control. Would you also defend Innocean for using a rape scenario to sell furniture? How about if they used child molestation to sell shampoo? Depicting a lynching to promote potato chips? Abdicating all social responsibility for the sake of commerce is simply wrong.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      The “biggy” is that trolling makes you a failure in life, and being a troll wastes valuable space reserved for actual posts, “ShamanicEye”. Now GTFO.

  84. adamD says:

    I would hope that this advertisement doesn’t stay on the air for too long. At what point did it become ok to advertise a failed attempt at suicide? It should be banned. For anyone who says, “Just don’t watch it,” should we just stand by and watch society continue downhill? Sure there are many things that offend us, but not everything can be or should be overlooked. There is a limit to what should be said or done and this surpasses it in a horrendous way

  85. jrid says:

    Holly, Thank you for sharing that story, I have 2 little girls and often think about ending it all and the thought of what happens to my girls often curtails that. I have tried to tell myself that life goes on even when I’m not there but I know they will be damaged if I do it only your story puts me into their thoughts, just how damaged, how hurt they would be. I can’t say the thoughts will go away for me but at least when I think of death, I’ll think of you and know it isn’t even close to being an option.

    • ... says:

      If you kill yourself you are only punishing your family. Life will go on, but not the same without you. choose who’s feelings you care about most, yours or your daughters

  86. Fabio says:

    Oh, cmon! nothing is sacred in the web, the death first, LOL

    i liked the ad, but, of course, is not for people who lost someone in this way, but i liked it as i like any WTF stuff i see in the web, sorry for Hyundai and you, bad idea for an ad even if i smile at it 😛

      • ausGeoff says:

        Hey Mickey…

        Can you do us all a favour please? Go away until you pass puberty, and then come back to add your comments. Thanks.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        No, more than likely this one didn’t even take more than 10 seconds. Most trolls don’t, Ian. If they had the brains for evening courses, their kind would cease to exist. Better to stay dumb…

  87. Madame Weebles says:

    Reblogged this on Fear No Weebles and commented:
    Per my post from yesterday, this is EXACTLY the sort of bullshit I’m talking about. Hyundai execs need to understand that their advertising is in disgustingly poor taste. Let the viral shaming begin!

  88. Jonathan Grand says:

    Anything or anyone can bring you bad memories. If we start banning every single thing that makes someone somewhere cry, goodbye free speech, goodbye comedy!

    Your dad committed suicide and it was a tragedy. Hyundai made an ad about a 0 emissions vehicle. Hyundai was not making a reference to your dad – you were, when you saw it. Your feelings about are not grounds for banning an ad – and definitely don’t mean Hyundai doesn’t make good cars.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      “o emissions”? Is that the same as an “o’Troll” or “o’Tool”? Cause you’re both of those.

      Now gtfo.

  89. AndrewO says:

    Insensitive? maybe, but how is this different from, say, Mercedes Benz advertising their collision-avoidance technology in the mind of someone who lost a relative in a car crash? (“if only you’d driven a Mercedes you might have walked away from that wreck”)
    How is it different from Cancer Centers of America advertising their cancer care in the mind of someone who lost a relative to cancer? (“maybe if you’d come to us we’d have cured you”)
    How is it different from a rehab center in the mind of someone who lost their relative to a drug addition? Or a Budweiser commercial with their cute horses in the mind of someone who lost a relative to alcoholism.

    At the end of the day, I feel sorry for the author, I really do. I can’t begin to imagine your loss, but you can’t take this personally. They didn’t write the ad for you, and at the end of the day, if you never buy a Hyundai in your life then you win.

    • copybot says:

      Are you serious? You honestly can’t see how this is different from a beer ad being shown to someone who’s lost a relative to alcoholism?

      Let me break it down for you. In the beer ad, it is an ad for beer, therefore you need to show beer. In the car ad, it is an ad for a car, therefore you do not need to show suicide.

      Do you see now, or shall I write it in crayon for you?

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        lambdog, my reply to “Andrew O” mirrors the one I’ll give to you. Funny how that works out…

        Now GTFO.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      How is it different from a troll listing random straw-man arguments in response to a post about one company’s idiocy?

      Now GTFO. You got the author’s personal response to your trolling, share your utmost joy over that wonderful life event with your relatives and move on.

  90. Jim Belfiore (@jsbelfiore) says:


    Your words are spot on, and I am very sorry for your loss. I can only offer that I understand your feelings (in my case, my father’s suicide was from a gun).

    I’d like to think that the creatives behind the advertisement truly didn’t know what they were evoking. The first person perspectives we see in the ad take only a few seconds of screen time, yet for those who have endured the suicide of a loved one (especially a parent), those last, unimaginable moments are played again and again in our minds for the rest of our lives. We take on the first-person perspective of those who ended their lives, except we live through it, and are forced to rewatch it, again and again. “Simply don’t watch the ad” as some here would suggest you do, demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what suicide victims endure, in some form, every day, for decades.

    I’d like to think that the creatives behind the advertisement truly had no idea of the pain they were tapping into. For if they acted knowingly and with the understanding that you, I and everyone who has survived a loved one’s suicide have, then it was cruelty beyond words.

    Thank you for your courage to speak out, for all of us.

  91. Chicago123456 says:

    Honestly, you can’t blame a car company because your father was weak and killed himself. Be thankful that their new car will never allow people to perform cowardly acts like how your father did and abandoned your family. Stop blaming society and be strong.

    • ausGeoff says:

      If you see yourself as a tower of strength and bravery ‘Chicago’ how about posting your real name and email address here? You know—”be strong”.

      Or are you simply another pissy little keyboard warrior afraid to back up his macho claims with action?

      We’re waiting…..

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      LOLs, I’d tell this one to GTFO, but I can’t say it any better than others have already. Not one bite on the bait, what a fail troll!

  92. bob dole says:

    This thread has proven to me that 50% of Americans are cockless slimebags that honestly deserve to die. FUck all of you, go die, FUCK YOU!!! YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!

    • Ian Sadler says:

      My, aren’t you a cheerful and articulate little soul. Now go away and try and play nicely with others. And you’ll likely find there’s an awful lot more Brits on here than Americans.

  93. Jennifer says:

    My dad committed suicide when I was 17, and while he chose a different way, I totally understand how you feel and understand why this ad upsets you. I’m also appalled and horrified by some of the judgemental comments left on this blog post. Unless you have been through it you have no room to judge her for posting her opinion. Suicide grief is very different and hard for those who have to endure it. Have some respect. “If you don’t have anything nice to say…..”

  94. Stephen Riley says:

    I’m a creative director in advertising and that’s a completely irresponsible way to sell a car. I apologize for the industry and for you having to see it. What Hyundai now needs to do is use their budgets to make ads about suicide awareness. Not how little emissions their cars have. Dear lord.

  95. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Wow, that really is tasteless. It seems there is no low that marketers won’t sink to in order to shift product. They clearly aimed to court controversy but hopefully it will do more to hurt sales than help them.

    Take care, I’ve been touched by suicide in my family as well, it’s hard.


  96. Offensive, yes; Illegal, no says:

    While I agree that Hundai made a bad move here, I do not believe in censoring, fining, or banning the company because people find it offensive. The freedom to express oneself (even if it is to advertise something, we should not treat that as a different form of expression) is a right that everyone has and no one should have that right taken away by other people.
    I am sorry for your lose.

    • Amanda says:

      I am not sure what your definition of ‘offensive’ is, but I personally don’t see the bigger picture as the ad being ‘offensive’.

      Suicide reporting guidelines are in place, as a result of extensive research on the effects of methods of reporting / advertising on suicide, and the bigger picture is perhaps not about taking away anyone’s freedom of expression, but in protecting vulnerable people.

      • Disagree says:

        I must disagree. Protection of “vulnerable” people does not take precedence over the right to create the media you want and to publish the media you want.

      • Japanelo says:

        I must disagree. Protecting vulnerable people does not take precedence over the freedom to create media and publish that media.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        LMAO, a troll tries to publish a response to Amanda by using a sock puppet account and forgets to change the copy+paste wording!! FAIL!! OMG, that’s just too funny!! And really? “Disagree” and “Japanelo” as handles? Oh what a shame I can’t directly reply to each!

        Just… No. GTFO “both” of you.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      You lost credibility the minute you typed “Hundai” similar to some of the troll posts above. “I am sorry for your lose”.

      Now GTFO.

  97. Michael Capozzi says:

    This is the letter I just sent Hyundai:

    Just viewed your commercial about the iX35. I must admit, it was very sad, and in no way did it make me desire any car, least of all, yours.

    Whoever does these commercials needs to be fired. Instead of promoting your cleaner cars by showing a positive environmental impact, you decided to show someone desperate enough to take their own life and being incidentally prevented by a car that doesn’t emit carbon monoxide. The real “joke” is that the commercial illustrates that your new car is so unspectacular, that the owner himself is unaware of its environmentally positive innovations.

    So not only is the owner a desperate, suicidal soul, he is also stupid.

    Not exactly the best way to promote your brand, or to represent your potential customers. I am glad I do not drive a Hyundai (I traded the last one I owned in after the radio stopped working after less than 2 years of ownership).

    Here is the link to the commercial, in case you need a reminder of how awful you are:

  98. Oni Me no Link says:

    If your dad had this Hyundai, he’d be alive right now.
    Or probably not, he’d just find another way to off himself.

    Besides, this commercial isn’t even original. Audi did a similar one for the A5 a few years back.

    On a final note, thank you for the laughs you just provided me. Now if you’ll excuse me, i’ll just take a nap inside my Hyundai. [Just kidding; i don’t own a Hyundai. I do own an Audi, though. 🙂 ]

    • Ian Sadler says:

      What a funny person you are. Oh, right…no you’re not a funny person, you’re a crass moronic idiot.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      A troll with an Audi, now THERE’s a laugh. MUCH better than the “laughs” you have typing, I’ll bet.

      Now GTFO.

  99. Pingback: | So Non Fiction
  100. Some Jerk says:

    How about we all just grow the fuck up? Your daddy committed suicide by sucking on a tail pipe? Mine blew his fucking brains out. You don’t see me whining or breaking into hysterics every time I see gun violence in games movies or other media. Life sucks- get a fucking helmet.

    • Amanda says:

      Holly is being affected in a very human way. She has feelings and it is natural to be affected in this way. Can you see any way that your words could cause anything but harm to Holly? So basically what you’re doing is taking someone who is very upset and choosing to cause a lot more upset to them.

      Your choice, but not nice at all really.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        Amanda, what you’re doing is sweet, but a troll can NOT be reasoned with. The best way to deal with them is by flagging so a moderator can delete. I’m flagging all these so the author doesn’t have to read over the idiocy. This is a serious subject, trolls not allowed.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Fail troll. Fail handle. Fail insult. Suprised you got a nibble on such obvious bait.

      GTFO. Leave this discussion and never breed.

  101. Daan van den Bergh says:

    Fuuuuck (excuse my language),

    The youtube video has been taken offline, but (un)fortunately your way of describing is very visual.

    This is proof of how cold the world has become. Money isn’t a tool anymore, money is boss. Values, principles, our souls will be sold to make a quick buck.

    I’m sorry that you had to go through this. You showed great courage writing them this letter. I hope you opened at least one of these greedy money grubbers’ eyes.

  102. Hermes says:

    What do you expect Holly? Koreans boil dogs alive and eat them as a delicacy. They operate by a completely different moral code. It’s no surprise to me their marketing campaigns follow suit.

  103. allison says:

    THANK YOU so much for posting this. You are such a brave person and an example that one person can make a difference. I also lost my dad to suicide in 2007 and can’t understand how an ad like this would ever be OK with a company. Another reason I will never drive a Hyundai either.

  104. Amanda says:

    How heartless. Who advised then to produce something so horrendous ?

    Who thought that this would sell cars ???

    Epic fail.

    So sorry you had to watch it 😦


  105. Rosie says:

    This ad is disgusting and the people who created/approved it ought to be ashamed. Much love to you and your family. So sad to see all the insensitive, entitled pieces of troll shit chiming in here, but unfortunately I’m not surprised. To some people, speaking out against something you disagree with is considered a big waste of time and something to be ridiculed. Which is I guess why they are here speaking out against you speaking out against–wait…

  106. kittynh says:

    Well, I own a Hyundai, and I won’t buy one. Too many other ways to sell this car. Way way too many other ways. What “if you are depressed, buy this car so you can choose to kill yourself with a gun or knife instead!” WTF? Looks like Honda is getting my business. (We actually own TWO Hyundai’s. Great cars, but I’d rather give the money to a company that has some sense of decency.)

  107. Admu23 says:

    No actually your dad would not have liked to come back from heaven to take you to your friends birthday party, he took his own life, it wasn’t taken from him, he is where he wants to be

    • Amanda says:

      You do not know where he ‘wants to be’.

      As it happens, most people who are suicidal do not want to die. They just cannot bear to live in such emotional pain any longer. I did not know Holly’s dad, and can only speak in general terms, but in general, it is very likely that he could not bear living, but that by no means means that he wanted to be dead. There is a difference.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      No actually your trolling needs commas where there aren’t any currently and periods where your commas are…

      Now GTFO “Admu”.

    • Amanda says:

      Sorry for your loss.

      Holly certainly does not need to ‘grow up’ however.

      She is a grieving daughter of a man who was in a lot of pain, and is in touch with her emotions, and in a quite natural way was effected by what she was. That’s all.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      My father committed trolling as well.

      This is an attempt at “edgy” by a fail troll with a fail handle (seriously, “getoveryourself”? LOLs). Grow up.

  108. suzen says:

    Conversations like this with brands (and humans) are crucial and seemingly the only way our culture might evolve enough to communicate their goals without abandoning empathy. That ad was meant to be disturbing – it is the entire point – otherwise there is no relief at the end. (Hence the apology is hollow.) What wasn’t considered was how that would play to people who’ve sat in that car or are loved ones of people that have sat in that car or people who might consider wanting to sit in that car in the near future. In the meantime, trolls, unable to display the most basic of social lubricants – empathy – deserve to be ignored. That said, it’s worth dealing with even the most idiotic of trolls to advance the cause of empathy. It is good that you chose to speak up. Your character was in the right place.

  109. says:

    I too had a loved one commit suicide and i feel anything that gets others talking about the reality of mental illness and suicide is a good thing

    • Amanda says:

      I can see where you are coming from , and it would be lovely if that was the case that ‘anything’ that gets others talking about the reality was a good thing, but research has shown that an ad such as this can do enormous harm

  110. Case says:

    If it was meant to be a ‘taster’ ad from an agency or an award piece how did it make it to the Hyandai website? These pieces dont have to be published. You dont see every failed or award piece for Audi, Toyota or even Libra on their websites do you? To publicly air this was a choice.

    This was an insensitive piece and its the reason there is an advertising standards board. The people criticise the author for her view arent you doing the same? Sure, she cant control the ads on TV and in your opinion grow up. You cant control her feelings, why she feels them, or her reaction to the ad and shouldnt you grow up and stop trying.

    To all those who criticise the suicide. Come see her when you have a loved one end their life and tell her how ridiculous she’s being. Stop being insensitive brats and have compassion for another person. If you can do it when there is a national tragity cant you show the same compassion for one person. Takes the same bit of your heart and brain. Stop being dicks.

    Man, this is why people suck.

  111. Elana Premack Sandler says:

    My father also died by suicide in this way. I cannot imagine how I would have felt if I was caught by surprise and saw this ad on TV – I couldn’t even bring myself to watch it online. I am struck by how many people have commented to say that they lost a parent to suicide in the same way – and that given how common this experience seems to be, no one, at any point in the production of this ad, thought that this particular approach would be a bad idea. Holly, thank you so much for your from-the-heart activism that led to this ad being pulled.

  112. Joe Chernov (@jchernov) says:


    Lovely, heartfelt and admirably fair post. I applaud you for writing it, and for the way you wrote it. I am sorry for your lost, sorry for the way the ad made you feel, and sorry that you have to endur some make-me-doubt-my-fellow-man responses to your dignified article. I am sorry for all of those things. But I am happy for something. I am happy that someone like you is in the world. We are all better for it.


  113. SocietyRed says:

    Reblogged this on SocietyRed and commented:
    I find it impossible not to reblog this powerful post exposing insensitive, inappropriate, bullshit advertising. My contribution to the viral extermination of morons and the builders of shiny, crappy cars.

  114. Jeremy says:

    Yet again someone looking to blame a company or another person for their bad feelings or experiences. Yes Hyundai’s ad may be inappropriate, but so is your blaming Hyundai because they reminded you of your dad. Be pissed at your dad for taking the cowards way out, don’t use a commercial to rant about poor you.

    • Ian Sadler says:

      Suicide isn’t about cowardice, it’s about being in a place of total despair and being unable to find a path back to life.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Yet again someone looking to get a few chuckles to cover their own insecurities. Yes your trolling may have gotten one or two responses, but so does your blatant idiocy on display every day. Be pissed at yourself for hiding behind a one-name unoriginal handle to troll, don’t use a woman’s heartfelt article to rant about your own feeling of inadequacy.

      … Non-sarcasm reply= GTFO troll.

  115. Daan van den Bergh says:

    When I read some of the comments on this blog, it doesn’t surprise me that an ad like this has been created.

    Probably, people like these very commenters, own a big chair at the advertising agency that created the ad.

    What a bunch of retards…

    A sensitive woman, opened up her heart and shared something very personal with a powerful and beautiful voice. If anything, this should be a wake up call. We should accept her and let her know she’s not alone. That the world accepts her for who she is and her pain.

    But what do you bullies do? You kick her when she’s down?

    Cowards, that’s what you are.

    I have a surprise for you: you bully this woman to make yourself feel better, but tomorrow morning you’ll wake up feeling like the same loser you always were.

    Deal with your own issues first, instead of lashing out on others to make yourself feel better, losers…

  116. talesfromthemotherland says:

    This is an incredible post, and kudos to Society Red for reblogging it, so I could see it. Your words are thoughtful and poignant. The ad is insensitive to many people, most of all anyone who has suffered through such a horrible loss. I am also sorry that you had to read some of these comments. I will never understand why people choose to leave a comment, only to criticize, harass, or inflict more pain. It is just so unnecessary, when it’s so much easier to just skip on to another post. Sorry for your loss… I know it continues, as I lost my father to a car crash and I still miss him, so many years later. Well done.

    • Ian Sadler says:

      Yes she’s upset and she’s every damn right to be. This is a immoral piece of marketing and deserved to be called out. Now go away and play with some crayons.

  117. Andy says:

    I’m a happy Hyundai owner…and no offense, this is just a bad advertisement.

    Of course it’s tasteless, however, censorship is even more tasteless. If we begin banning such things, we will inevitably ban free speech, the right to keep arms, bibles in schools, heterosexual marriages, and maybe even the authors right to share this tragic story about her father.

    Just like the current gun debate in the United States…express your disdain and move on with your life. Be a better person. Be an advocate for whatever it is that you are advocating.

    Hopefully, whatever it is, you are advocating the dignity and sanctity of human life.

    • Ken Westmoreland says:

      Who do you mean by ‘we’, Andy? This is Britain, not America, and if the authorities here decided to censor the ad, that would be our concern, not yours. I take it your ancestors left England on the Mayflower 400 years ago.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Wow, FINALLY we find a troll that has a half-way believable piece of bait!! Even the author took a bite, aren’t you proud? Quick, call your relatives!! THERE MUST BE A PARTY TO CELEBRATE… what an idiot you are, that is.


  118. Kazza says:

    I feel for you Holly, it was cruel of Hyundai to make fun of suicide and it was a good thing that you’ve written this article. Made them think about what they’ve done, hopefully in the future they’ll consider these things more carefully.

  119. jaguarpython says:

    The callousness, rudness and evil that people have displayed to an honest reaction that someone whose dad committed suicide had to an insensitive ad makes me sick.

    She never asked for anything to be banned, just that perhaps a big company could have thought a bit more before releasing an inappropriate, irresponsible and frankly dangerous ad.

    There’s well known data showing that publicising suicide increases risk of further suicides in the region. This sort of irresponsible advertising has a very real and tragic death toll.

      • copybot says:

        Google “suicide contagion”. It really is incredibly well-known, and the reason why The Samaritans have media guidelines for discussing the issue.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        I would like to see your true name, please. You’ve posted on here with several different handles in a sad attempt at sock-puppet responses. You even slipped up some ways up the comment section by posting the exact same thing with two different handles.

        Fail troll. GTFO.

  120. Sharyl Kay says:

    I find this ad totally heartless and tasteless. It took a lot of courage and strength for this young woman to take a stand against it. I am guesing she is speaking for many who could not find the courage or the words! Bless her and may she continue to find strength! Shame on Hyundai for such a tastless, thoughtless ad. And shame on those who disregad the feelings she suffered AGAIN as a result! Suicide should never be something that is “mocked”!

  121. -BC- says:

    A genuinely moving blog post.

    Unfortunately this is not the first controversial and challenging piece of advertising and it will not be the last that we have to endure. It is not enough, it seems, to sell something on the merits of it merely being a good product. More than it must be wrapped up in something tasteless and provocative in order to garner your attention.

    Certainly, there is comedy, drama, documentaries etc that tackle similar subject matter with varying success, but the most hurtful fact is this was something so mundane as a commercial.

    The fact Hyundai have done their upper most already to distance themselves shows even they lack the conviction to stand by something they obviously feel is inappropriate. This surely renders all the comments containing such gems as “deal with it” null and void as even the car company that the ad is for disapprove.

  122. Sam says:

    I agree and sympathize with what has been said above. I agree that the ad isn’t an appropriate way to market their brand. But Hyundai didn’t make you have a reaction to this ad. Your dad did, he was the one who commit suicide. Its sad to say but Hyundai isn’t the one to blame, they didn’t create this reaction. They just brought it back up. The person who committed suicide is to blame for you being so upset.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Wow, the exact same post made by several others, with only the user handle that’s different! Gee guys, with a different handle for each of these EXACT SAME posts, do you think it’s different people all agreeing on the subject? Wow, that must make all those posts even more important, since SO MANY have posted the same thing- with the same wording in some cases!!

      … Ugh. Okay, enough of that, I can only play dumb for so long before my blood pressure goes up.

      Real response: GTFO troll.

  123. eof737 says:

    Your post is heart-wrenching and I’m saddened by the thoughtlessness of the Ad… I do hope they cancel it. Sending you virtual hugs.

  124. tonescotland says:

    A well written blog Holly. I am very sorry for your loss, it must have caused you a lot of pain over the years.

  125. Eddy says:

    My sincerest condolences to you and all others who have lost someone dear to you.
    Now I hope they sack the company who thought about this tasteless advert.

  126. Sam says:

    Whoever produced this should be sacked, and Hyundai should dismiss the agency immediately to maintain any credibility.

    How this could ever be made makes me wonder how sick some people are, not those unfortunate men and women that sadly decide to take their own lives (as my father also did), by the Ad Agency staff that were involved in this.

    And the Guardian should apologize for featuring it in the best ads of the week, obviously they demonstrated no empathy of compassion, an apology would from them should be forthcoming.

  127. Gary says:

    I have just listened to this article on jeramy vines show it was very moving and even jeremy vine was nearly in tears. What a very well written letter and very articulate young lady.

  128. gosling99 says:

    Great letter, Holly. Really sad to see the depths companies will go in order to get publicity. It’s clearly worked for them, though maybe not in the way they’d hoped. I hope that you don’t have too much more suffering over such insensitive idiots.

  129. STurner says:

    Dear Holly
    I was moved to tears by your sad story. Some of these big companies are only interested in making money and have no compasion.
    Take care.

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  131. Vicky says:

    Some of the comments on here make me worry for the sake of humanity. A girl loses her father in tragic circumstances and the response is “Get over it, it’s only a commercial?”. From someone else who has lost a parent in horrible circumstances I can tell you that the grief that you felt when it happened, hits you just as hard you are subjected to a trigger such as this one no matter how long it was ago. Holly, I’m truly sorry for your loss. x

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Such is the horrible state of the internet that trolls do stuff like that without a second thought. For my part, I’m flagging each with a “GTFO” so the author can take note and delete them. Hopefully she won’t have to read them in that case.

  132. Jerry says:

    This ad isn’t so much offensive as people are overly sensitive. The idea of PC-ness has gone too far, and anytime someone doesn’t like something, it is offensive and outrage ensues. As someone who’s had a family member commit suicide, I find no problem with this ad. Get over it, and take it for what it is, a car advertisement, not a reminder of love ones lost.

  133. nioiclin says:

    I am utterly gobsmacked by the insensitivity of some people on here. Like seriously if you think that it is okay for a car company to exploit exhaust fume suicide as a means to prove it’s exhaust fume levels are low just to sell a car and to make profit then it must also be okay if a condom company should advertise a rape to prove reliability as the person didn’t get pregnant in the end? Is it okay if a washing line company show someone hanging from a tree to prove durability of the rope type it uses? Or for a kitchenware store to advertise a Murder to show the sharpness of it’s knives?

    Holly I commend you for writing such a well versed, heart breaking and brave letter.

    • Japanelo says:

      I believe it is fine for all of those things. I would never buy that product, however that does not mea that they should not be allowed to try to sell their product in any way that they think will increase sales. The right to expression, to create media and sell that media takes precedence over someones feelings about it. Maybe we should ban offensive art? Or music that has swearing in it?
      Even if you didn’t mean it in that sense, the point still stands. We cannot stop people from creating media that they want, and publishing it as they want. If you don’t like it, you don’t need to buy the product, or listen to the song, or look at the piece of art.

  134. Jimbo says:

    This is absolutely disgusting. Hyundai should be completely disgraced with themselves. Please don’t think for one minute Hyundai’s claims that they weren’t aware of it, that I heard on the radio earlier, are true. There will be a marketing department at Hyundai fully aware of this…..

    Those who say its a democracy, “get over it” …. where do you draw the line, where do you stop then!!?? People can say/do what they want true, but when it is not acceptable as it is in Hyundai’s case, they need to be reprimanded for it, or be prepared to face the consequences.

    I doubt I would ever have bought a Hyundai but this cements my justification not to…..

    • Japanelo says:

      You don’t draw the line. There should not be a line that we want to draw. That’s restricting to ones freedom.

  135. marydowds says:

    Holly, I am so sorry about your father. I also admire your gentle and tasteful urging to the companies to reconsider their ad. In an age of online temper tantrums, hysteria, and complaint culture your dignity when faced with genuine pain is admirable. As a sufferer of mental health problems and an occasional suicide risk, I dislike frivolous portrayals of these issues and, like you, find it unnecessary. I hope you have someone to talk to about this, and that your post made you feel better. Those in the comments section who are blatantly trolling are embarrassing the rest of the internet. Give it a rest and show some decency, please.

    All the best 🙂

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        Flagging this idiot for you, and others like him, via a “GTFO”. Feel free to delete the stupidity, it contributes nothing to the discussion of your wonderful article. Seriously, leaving posts like the above up or responding to such is only good for their ego, giving them the attention they crave so desperately. You deserve better than that!

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      My dad trolled as well, thankfully he didn’t take my sense of intolerance to stupidity with him.

      GTFO troll.

  136. tonescotland says:

    The ‘get over it’ brigade should re-read the blog. Holly doesn’t ask for censorship, or retraction, she just explains her reaction to the ad. What amazes me is that no-one in Hyundai, or the agency thougtht ‘What does this ad say about us as a brand? Is that what we want to portray?’ It had a very strong negative message for Holly, and anumber of other people, and Hyundai have to deal with the consequences of that.

    • Occam's Tool says:


      As a psychiatrist working in a State Hospital in the US, I want to say two things: first, I am deeply sorry for your loss, and I wish you well.

      Secondly, I think this ad is about as funny as one showing the Hyundai factory being nuked.

      • Occam's Tool says:

        As a matter of fact, Holly, why don’t you do a YouTube ad showing a Hyundai factory being nuked, and the people running around getting their flesh melted off a la “terminator,” with the theme song to MASH, “Suicide is painless, ” in the background, and send it to the company. Feel free to use this idea.

      • Occam's Tool says:

        Keeping in mind that the Theme Song to MASH, “Suicide is painless,” was actually in a movie about the Korean war, such a poor taste counter ad might really drive the point home.

    • Chris says:

      Just so. They are a brigade, a team, a swarm. And they are being well-funded to confuse and demoralize people online (they r the nazgul of the neo-cons i suspect).

      We’ve shut the swarm up here -YAY internet!- i wonder where they will go next. my bet is anywhere online with tragedy so lets all be vigilant. lots of crazy tragedy in the us papers recently so i’m sure many of them will be quacking their three or four carefully coordinated talking points on many American newspaper comment threads.

      The Chicago Sun-times, for example, has breaking news on the family of five massacred in their home in rural Illinois on wednesday. i noticed a few of the swarm hovering there but i think they got the message.

      Our US sisterz and brotherz need our support gang. their nation is going through some amazing transformations in real time at present, with much collateral tragedy.

      Together we can keep The Swarm at bay until their hive is rooted out and sterilized.

  137. Sandi says:

    This is how my dad died when i was 11.
    And it is how my brother attempted to kill himself when he was about 25.
    Thankfully someone found him in the middle of the week in the middle of the night
    in the middle of nowhere… the odds…

  138. Ronnie J says:

    The way that this Brockwell woman has coldly and callously used the suicide of her father as a self publicity attempt is pretty pathetic. Holly, you’re not Oli Beale with his Virgin Complaint letter. He is a tosser too, but at least he is talented. Too talented to have to stoop to these mawkish lows. Also Holly we’d all love to see the amazing ideas you’ve come up with for Honda when you were at shitty Collective. They certainly aren’t in your book, which is painfully, excruciatingly shit and devoid of any creativity.

    • Ian Sadler says:

      In all my years encountering the unfeeling, vile, obnoxious trolls and pathetic little bastards that inhabit the internet I’ve never been so gobsmacked as I have been by the poison spewed forth by “Ronnie J”.

      Fucking hell, this sorry excuse for a human being clearly doesn’t have an ouch of compassion and even fewer brain cells.

      “Ronnie J” clearly has an axe to grind with Holly for some reason and using this incredibly painful subject for her as a way to try and hurt her.

      Dear “Ronnie J” – you are scum. Holly has friends here and you only have enemies.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Troll much?

      GTFO, your idiocy is too far down anyway, the only reason I’m flagging this is for the author, not to bite on your “bait”.

  139. mickey says:

    glad somebody has a sense of humor these days. always wanted a hyundai and this definitely pushes me to buy one. thanks guys!

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      LOLs, oh mickey, your charming and witty post cleverly mimicking the idiocy of many of the trolls posting on this comment section is truly awe-inspiring, tee hee!!

      Tee hee. Tee hee hee. Tee h- oh to hell with sarcasm, I can only stomach it for so long. There’s the always present problem it might go over the troll’s head and they think they really ARE all the above when their bait is so OBVIOUS a grade schooler could pick it out. Now GTFO you idiot. I already wasted enough time typing out things for you to suck yourself off to.

  140. Catherine says:

    There are so many idiotic people responding to this well-thought, well-written note, it’s staggering. Suicide is not “a choice” by a “weak” person. It is almost always the result of a medical disease called depression. Depression, left undiagnosed and/or untreated is deadly — like cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

    So, for all you unenlightened ignoramuses who feel you need to say something without having a clue of what you’re talking about, visit Then come back and delete your asinine comments, if only to preserve the notion that humans can learn from their mistakes.

    And for the people who say, “I lost a friend to suicide,” “I lost three friends to suicide — it’s no big deal…”: You don’t know jack about losing someone to suicide until you lose a direct family member. It is such a traumatic, shocking event, the family never truly recovers from it. Panic attacks and PTSD are common and can last for weeks to years because of it. That’s why the commenter who said, “It was meant to be funny,” should know such a visual is something this girl has lived with for years, as she imagined her dad dying that way. Very frightening, very sickening. NOT funny.

    And for people saying, “Get over it.” When you lose someone to suicide, you struggle for a very long time, for what seems forever, with feelings of abandonment, low self-esteem that you “weren’t loved enough,” etc. And never mind the actual grief that the family feels from their loved one dying.

    So, charmless smart asses, go find some other place to share your uneducated, backwater leanings. You’re an embarrassment to your educational systems, your parents and your churches/communities. You proudly play the bullies while wrapping yourselves in “we have a right to say what we want.” What an absolute disgrace.

    • Kate says:

      Catherine, I agree 100% with your points about losing friend vs losing family. And it’s an important distinction. It floors me that people who haven’t lost a direct family member are so often confident that they know how it feels because they’ve ‘lost a friend’. It couldn’t be more different.

  141. fuellingimaginations says:

    Saywhat – I can’t believe your argument to Holly to ‘grow up, get a life and stop crying over every little thing’ includes reference to having had 3 friends commit suicide. Newsflash – friends aren’t your father. They’re replaceable. They aren’t missing from the dinner table every night of your life. You have absolutely no understanding of how true loss feels. Lucky you.

    • ausGeoff says:

      And it sounds as though you need a brain Phil.

      —And if you’ve already got one, I’ve got a spare thimble you can carry it in.

  142. Billigerous says:

    Three people need to lose their jobs.
    The creative at Innocean who came up with the “idea”.
    The Senior Creative (ECD, CD, CCD whatever) should be fired for letting this go forward.
    And finally the marketing director at Hyundai who was convinced (I hope) to spend marketing money on this disaster.

    Well done and good luck.

  143. Tommy says:

    Dear Hollywood I know people that have died in war, please stop making war movies because my feeling are hurt.

    • ausGeoff says:

      It’s interesting how many respondents here are confusing death—in the general sense, such as warfare and motor vehicle accidents etc—with suicide.

      Death due to suicide is a TOTALLY different thing altogether, and simply cannot be compared to any other form of death. The causes of suicide are far, far more complicated to assess than a shot from an enemy rifle or a blown tire.

      I can only assume ‘Tommy’ is a very young person who hasn’t seen much of the world, and lacks the wisdom that maturity brings. You may look back one day Tommy at some of the puerile comments you’ve made on blogs such as this, and ask yourself how it was that you were so childish and ignorant of anything in the real, adult world.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Dear “Tommy” I know people who have raged over trolls, please stop making posts because your trolling is so obvious it hurts. “My feeling are hurt” too, my feeling of trolls is so hurt it laughs at your idiocy while crying over your punctuation.


  144. Bill Hicks says:

    What a selfish, self-righteous, self-serving disgrace of an article. “Think about me” whenever a company makes an ad? How about you get off your sad couch and turn that frown upside down, you whiny little princess. Guess what? The ad isn’t for you. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it. Don’t buy a Hyundai. And get a real job while you’re at is – this crap is disgusting.

    • Jaded77 says:

      HOLY CRAP! Are you freaking serious… “selfish, self-righteous, self-serving disgrace…this crap is disgusting” …??!!?? It’s people like you who create ads like this in the first place. It took enormous strength & courage for Holly to post this and she should be APPLAUDED for doing so! Your bigotry is nothing more than a reflection of your own misery & low self-esteem. Finding it necessary to belittle, demean, humiliate, ridicule & disrespect another with such brash insensitivity on such a delicate issue is reprehensible & morally repugnant. If you’re so DISGUSTED by this, criticizing her for this post & telling her to “get a real job”, then why the HELL are you reading it to begin with? GUESS WHAT? THIS POST ISN’T FOR YOU. DON’T LIKE IT? DON’T READ IT. DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG. AND GET A REAL LIFE WHILE YOUR AT IT – THE CRAP YOU SPEW IS DISGUSTING.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        Jaded77, PLEASE don’t feed a troll, and NEVER feed it its favorite delicacy of all-caps rage. Just call it out for what it is or else leave it alone, it’ll starve.

    • ausGeoff says:

      By the tone of your comment ‘Bill Hicks’ I’m assuming you’re having serious, negative issues with your life in the real world. I’d also guess that you feel persecuted by everyone you come into contact with, and can only assert your (apparent) authority anonymously from behind the safety of your keyboard. Ultimately—in a face-to-face scenario—you’d undoubtedly epitomize what it is to be a coward.

      I feel sorry for maladaptive individuals like you Bill; constantly on the fringe of society; lonely and angry; rejected by your peers; maybe bullied in the workplace; and in turn picking on other people who can’t defend themselves.

      And if you’re just trolling for the warped fun of it here, please think twice before you stick your grubby little nose in where it’s not wanted. By posting, you’ve just confirmed what those people you suck up to really think of you… “What a total arsehole”.

      • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

        Nah, ausGeoff, it’s just a troll, like you said in your last paragraph. You’re absolutely right in your assessment of it in your other sections though.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      What a selfish, self-righteous, self-serving disgrace of a troll. A fail one too. How on EARTH such obvious bait got a caps-rage response is beyond me… Oh well, now the responder knows how to recognize trolls like you.


  145. Lauren Reed says:

    Bravo for a thoughtful and honest letter.
    I still have both my parents, but we all have triggers that are painful and cut to the core of our deepest heart. I’m so sorry for your loss and the pain that this brought up for you.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      One of the great myths of our time is that a troll won’t show up on a more serious adult-oriented blog.

      GTFO “potfry”

  146. Mike says:

    Holly, your letter brought me to tear, it’s very obvious that your dad loved you very much, but just found himself in a very dark place. To Hyundai and to all those who have chosen to leave negative comments shame on you.

  147. A. Designer says:

    I just had a look at the Innocean Facebook page as their European site is barely in use. It confirmed to me that they are ghouls. In October they worked on a campaign that had With Sympathy cards for rival manufacturers of a car that out performed them in tests. They are one-trick ponies.
    The advert shouldn’t be banned; it shouldn’t have been made. There are codes of conduct, as well as public opinion and research that should be followed to get the maximum effectiveness for an advert. There are responsibility issues around this. All sectors of business are regulated and the creative industries are no different. There is a level of decency and professionalism required. Just like a doctor isn’t meant to go around telling the world your medical conditions, or a lawyer take a juicy case the press before it is in court. Are there victims to that? By some people’s thinking, no.
    Regardless of what is thought, these guidelines – official and unofficial – are there and they were broken. Ethics in advertising is a subject about which much has been written.
    There are a huge number of approaches to the emissions that could have been promoted, but they chose this one. Yes, people are talking about it. Will that result in sales? It isn’t looking likely. There is such a thing as bad publicity, and I think Hyundai will pay for their naïveté more than Innocean; fellow ghouls will probably seek them out to make similar “edgy” “controversial” campaigns.
    It seems a lot of people have little understanding of the world of advertising. It isn’t like MadMen. Grow up. You sound ridiculous.

    After that, may I say I am deeply sorry for you loss and the pain that writing this, and the heartless comments, has brought up.

  148. prideinmadness says:

    The ad isn’t on Facebook anymore, at least not the link you provided. That ad went WAY TO FAR!!!! I’m very appalled! I am so sorry for your loss and the disgusting way you ended up reliving it due to this ad. Thank you for writing this letter! xoxo

  149. Valentine Logar says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of a loved one by suicide leaves us with a terrible hole in our hearts, forever. The irresponsible advert was at best in poor taste, but in reality was far more than this it was a social risk inviting those on the brink to try this method over others.

    Your letter was perfect.

    Some of the responses made me cringe and reinforced my belief that my fellow human beings are without compassion, empathy or souls.

  150. Vortex Wingtips says:

    The advert was in very poor taste. It was about as sensitive as IG Farben advertising Zyklon B rat poison with images of people being herded into a room at Auschwitz.under the tag line “Never fails, gets them all 100% of the time”. Would that be acceptable too? I don’t think so, and nor should the car advert.

  151. Ian Sadler says:

    Spent a while here this afternoon reading the comments and replying when my blood boiled over just a tad too much. It’s gratifying to see such overwhelming support and understanding for Holly. Be in no doubt that this advert was a crass, insensitive and stupid piece of marketing.

    How the fuck it got beyond the idiotic idea stage is beyond me. Will this same halfwits be suggesting a campaign for running shoes with the Boston Marathon bombings as a background? “Hey, if you’d worn xxxx footwear then you could have outrun the explosions.”

    I notice that the vast majority of the positive comments have links to their own blogs, etc, and are proud to identify themselves. In contrast pretty much all the vile sickening little trolls who have attacked Holly, and obscenely labelled her father as a coward, have on the whole hidden behind anonymous monikers. If you feel justified in your pathetic comments then have the decency to name yourselves. Geoff Brockwell is not the coward as you have chosen to label him, you are.

    Suicide is not about cowardice it is about finding yourself in a place of such despair that there is no path back to life and this is the only option that can be seen in such dark times.

    • Anti-Troll Brigade says:

      Same here, Ian, except I couldn’t take it anymore. Since I’m in a bizarre mood tonight, I’m flagging the trolls with a “GTFO” so the author can find and root out the idiocy… Late nights and blood pressure do strange things to me, lols.

  152. ausGeoff says:

    As a person having received ongoing treatment for clinical depression during the past 14 years, I’m astounded that, firstly, only 63 per cent of Australians responding to an online poll describe this Hyundai advertisement “offensive”. Surely, in an allegedly educated and compassionate society, this figure should be close to 100 per cent? I’m further appalled that one in three Australians – apparently – think this deplorable ad is acceptable to the greater population at best, or is humorous at worst.

    Second I find it beyond belief that any responsible [sic] advertising agency could even think for a moment that this lamentable ad was inoffensive to the millions of sufferers of mental disorders globally. I also cannot accept the fact that the Hyundai company itself denies any responsibility for the ad, considering that someone at their management level must have signed off on it before its release to the media. Endeavouring to shift the blame to its advertising agency is a pathetic and transparent attempt to avoid its social responsibilities, and indicates a major lack of business ethics.

    Sadly, this disgusting ad also illustrates the all too common and ignorant misconception that mental illness, self-harm and suicide are relatively lightweight disorders – possibly because they’re “invisible” disabilities.

    I suggest that all concerned Aussies contact Hyundai Australia TEL: 1800 186 306 and choose option #4 to voice their complaint in the strongest possible manner.

    And thank you Holly for having the courage to post this. My thoughts are with you


  153. Sophie says:

    Thank you Holly for bringing this to light and for your heartfelt and moving piece about your father. I’m sure he would be very proud of you. As someone who is about to graduate from a marketing and advertising degree, I feel sickened that Hyundai and their agency would even allow this concept to go ahead. It’s disgusting, as are some of the horrible comments on here directed at Holly- I would like to see how some of you would cope without your much loved fathers or by chance see an advert such as this on tv. It’s shocking. All the support in the world Holly, and ignore anyone that tries to say that you’re attention seeking; this is a reaction to Hyundai’s disgraceful and irresponsible advert and people should always speak out like you have. Thank you.

    • LyssaOnTheBorderline says:

      And that comment was not finished… Sorry, user error over here.
      As I was saying, this was not one of those ways, in part because I don’t have a garage. Still, this ad horrifys me to no end. I can’t even look at the video player right now and it’s not even running! There are better ways to sell cars Hyundai. I have never driven or owned one of your cars. And I never shall. To trivialize suicide in such a way… you have trivialized my pain… You have trivialized the pain of everyone who has considered, attempted, and/or succeeded in a auicide attempt. And you have trivialized the pain of all those whom suicide touches.

      • Jalen says:

        Oh give me a break! Snap out of it! I have a harsh truth to tell you…just because you suffer a tragedy or some type of pain, THE WORLD DOES NOT STOP! So now anytime someone mentions suicide, you’ll just fall apart? You’ll blame them for upsetting you? Get over yourself. Yes, suicide is horrible, but so are many other things. So are many other people’s circumstances and situations. You can’t possibly live your life being offended at every damn thing. And no one owe’s you an apology because you’re offended. This world and society has become a joke with all this “you hurt my feelings and now you owe me an apology!” bull shit. Get over it and move on!

  154. Anti-Troll Brigade says:

    I am *SO* very sorry for your loss and the horrible recollections this stupid ad brought you, Holly. Hopefully this idiocy will be brought more attention and someone formally apologizes for lack of brain matter on any of their staff in the ad agency (yeah, Hyundai owns the company of the idiots who made this garbage).

  155. Kat Ringenberg (@katherineYES) says:

    I work in Adveritisng, and find this ad very distasteful. People can choose what programs to watch or not watch, what channels to block. What we don’t have control over is what ads we are exposed to. We can’t avert our eyes from every billboard or magazine ad. This person did not want to see this commercial, did not find it humorous. Advertising agencies have a responsibility to be cautious of what they expose people to, and realize there’s a sense of innocence and delicacy that surrounded advertising since it will reach outside of their certain target audience. Though some people laughed, for others it ruined their day and brought back horrible memories and pain. I don’t think that’s worth the laughs.

  156. Suave says:

    it is a cowardly act to commit suicide, the lost might have been but it does not change the fact that he had the option to turn back to God for guidance.

    blaming an ad for the mistake of your late father is neither brilliant nor does it reflect well on him.

    • Ian Sadler says:

      Suicide is not a cowardly act. Coming on here and making idiotic comments behind a cloak of anonymity is cowardly. And please don’t invoke the mythical sky daddy when issues of reality and pain are being discussed.

  157. Autumn Cousins says:

    Unbelievable as it may seem, some news websites have praised this piece of crap. Folks over at The Guardian UK did, although checking back today showed they had pulled the article for being “offensive”. (LOLs, no REALLY, guys?)

    However, the folks over at a site called “The Drum” praise it too, and worse, they make no excuses for their idiocy- they REVEL in it. The article, in case you don’t believe me:

    Try not to get sick when reading their praise. Who types up that crap site, anyway?

    Holly, your article is extremely moving and perfectly encapsulates the problem. It’s a shame you have to deal with trolls and idiots like those at “The Drum”. Stay strong, and take care!!

  158. Pingback: Hyundai advert
    • Ian Sadler says:

      has anyone come close enough to you to engage in the act required to produce children or do you just do it all solo with the assistance of the internet?

  159. Kumar says:

    Half of the so-called creative nitwits mess up adverts. Anyone who owns a hydro engine would know the fume would not kill, so the dimwit who thought otherwise and found it fit enough to make an ad out of it has to go back to school. Lets us get some genuine Drama into Advertising. Hollow and creepy ideas are best left in such minds which conjure it. Therapy time folks!!

  160. Pingback:
  161. becki62002 says:

    A beautifully written letter that does you & your dad justice. I fully support you in this, undoubtedly you speak for many people who don’t have your courage. I’m glad the ad was banned and I’m glad your letter provoked them into thinking about what they release to the media. Well done you!!!

  162. Remo Verne says:

    My dad wouldn’t take me to some fancy birthday party either, he was always pretty busy, he was always working. And every time I see a dad working in a tv show, or an ad… it’s… boring. Get over it.
    Everybody bears scars of their own. A lot of my relatives have died because of cancer; slow, painful deaths. And I don’t freak out every time I hear “cancer” used in a frivolous way. When it comes my turn, I’ll plug the exhaust of my car to its inside, and I’ll leave peacefully.

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