December 8, 2007
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada wants the Ford Motor Co. of Canada to pull Emmy award-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland from his voice-overs in Ford’s advertising. The “24” star is now in jail, serving 48 days in a California prison for drunk driving.
The CEO of MADD Canada, Andrew Murie, feels that Sutherland is not a suitable role model for driving-related commercials. Murie told CTV: “Obviously as a company they’re against drunk driving, so why are they continuing to have somebody speak on behalf of their products that now has been convicted…of impaired driving?…Literally, there’s thousands of people out there that meet the moral standards of our society today that would love to have that kind of endorsement contract and they should be honoured for their ethical behaviour.”
Murie also pointed out that Sutherland could have afforded the services of a limousine or personal driver.
Sutherland was arrested on September 25 after he left a Hollywood party and, in October, pled no contest to driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit of .08. This is not the first alcohol-related charge for Kiefer, the son of actor Donald Sutherland. He was convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving in 1993 and has been on probation since a 2004 drunk driving arrest. In addition to his 48-day jail stay, Sutherland faces five years’ probation, a $150 fine, six months of weekly alcohol therapy attendance and 18 months of alcohol education.
According to a Ford Canada spokesperson, Gina Gellert, Sutherland’s voice will continue to be heard in commercials. Maybe Ford would like to hire Britney Spears, Paris Hilton or Nick Nolte for their American commercials?
MADD statistics for the United States show that about 17,602 people died in 2006 in alcohol-related traffic accidents, or one person every 30 minutes. Alcohol-related deaths comprised 41 percent of the U.S.’s 42,642 traffic fatalities. MADD Canada statistics for 2004, the latest year available, estimate that of the 3,013 fatalities in motor vehicle accidents, at least 1,157 instances involved alcohol.
Read more alcohol-related health news.
Photo credit: Glendale (California) Police Department
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