Jeep brings back Springsteen ad after the singer is cleared of DWI charge
Jeep is bringing back its Bruce Springsteen ad after the rock icon was cleared today of charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
"As we stated previously, we paused the commercial until the facts were established. Now, that the matter has been resolved, we are unpausing the film," the brand said in a statement.
Jeep had pulled the big budget Super Bowl spot from its YouTube channel three days after it aired during the game after news broke that Springsteen was arrested Nov. 14 at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and charged with DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area.
At a virtual hearing today, prosecutors dropped the DWI and reckless driving charge, but Springsteen pled guilty to possession of alcohol in a closed area, according to Automotive News, which reported that “the government asked the court to dismiss the two charges because Springsteen was presumed not to be impaired under New Jersey law, based on his blood alcohol level of .02 percent. The legal limit in New Jersey is .08 percent.”
Jeep had the ad back up on its YouTube channel by this afternoon. It had drawn some 37 million views before it was pulled. The ad was originally intended to run only once on TV. A Jeep spokeswoman today did not provide any information on what kind of paid media support the video would now get, if any.
The ad, from Michigan-based agency Doner, is called “The Middle” and shows Springsteen making a plea for unity in the politically divided nation. The Boss was considered a big get for the Stellantis-owned brand, and its chief marketing officer Oliver Francois, who had pursued Springsteen for years. But the DWI arrest and subsequent pausing of the ad put an immediate damper on the effort, especially since auto brands are particularly sensitive to issues surrounding driving while impaired.
But the news surrounding Springsteen has taken a positive turn of late. On Monday, Spotify announced a new podcast starring Barack Obama and Springsteen called “Renegades: Born in the USA.” The eight-episode series will “explore topics of race, fatherhood, marriage, and the future of America,” according to Spotify. Dollar Shave Club and Comcast are the presenting sponsors.