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Audi Super Bowl Attempt At Virtue-Signalling Backfires

Audi Super Bowl Attempt At Virtue-Signalling Backfires.

“The cause is honourable. But as the German luxury carmaker’s own tepid achievements show, action is harder than fine rhetoric”

“I’ll never buy an Audi,”says Kimberly Guilfoyle

Audi of America bought an advertising slot during the annual Super Bowl American football game, which attempted to grandstand its support for equal pay for men and women, but it quickly backfired.

The ad, called “Daughter” and for the new S5, showed children in a cart race in which boys and girls competed. The voiceover talked about how one day perhaps the injustice of paying females less for the same work as a man will come to an end, and that Audi believed in equality.

“What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets,” the voiceover said.

“Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work,” was the catch line at the end.

This, not surprisingly (although apparently a shock to Audi of America) triggered a quick look by journalists at how Audi actually performed in the equality stakes.

“The cause is honourable. But as the German luxury carmaker’s own tepid achievements show, action is harder than fine rhetoric,” said Reuters Breaking Views columnist Olaf Storbeck.

Storbeck said female workers in Germany in comparable jobs on average earn 7 per cent less per hour than male colleagues.   

“Only a small minority of corporate leaders are women. Audi in December 2016 signed the White House equal pay pledge, and promises to review its pay policies. But, while it has pledged since 2011 to hire more women, only 14.8 per cent of the group’s overall staff are female, compared with 17.3 per cent at Daimler and 18.1 per cent at BMW. Things are even bleaker at the top: just 8.9 per cent of Audi managers are women, and none of its sex executive board members,” Storbeck said.

Kimberly Guilfoyle
Storbeck said the German government is trying to force more gender equality, which companies are fighting.

“The German corporate lobby is fighting the new rules tooth and nail, undermining warm PR pledges,” he said.

Audi America’s Loren Angelo had this comment on the ad on Super Bowl Sunday, according to Automotive News.

“With “Daughter” we are continuing to push the envelope to call attention to what drives us. As a business built on bold innovation, progress underpins the brand’s culture,” Angelo said.

This apparent contradiction and hypocrisy was quickly pounced on by political comment shows like Fox News’ “The Five”.

“I’ll never buy an Audi,” said “The Five” co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Audi America surely will quietly drop the gender equality card until its record stands up to examination, and make sure its PR team don’t open it up to ridicule again.

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