Back when the automobile industry finally got around to installing seat belts -- long, long after renegade auto marketer Preston Tucker had attempted to build a car with them -- the word went out that using the now-required life-saving devices in car ads would be a good thing. And it was indeed a good educational, informational role for advertising, one that didn't interfere with the sales intent and possibly helped spur usage.
That's why we're saluting Toyota Motor Sales' Lexus division for using ads to depict unsafe -- and widespread -- driving habits. The humorous spots in a new series show an elderly lady driver being kissed by a dog, a young male driver being kissed by a young female, a car tooling along seemingly driver-less as the guy who's supposed to be behind the wheel searches for a CD and, yes, a businessman on the phone (while also on the computer). When next at a busy