Ram Defends MLK Super Bowl Ad After Social Media Backlash

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The online blowback was swift for Ram after the carmaker used a sermon given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as the voice-over for its spot.

On Sunday night, vehicle manufacture Dodge sparked a might backlash on social media for a tone-deaf Super Bowl ad that used excerpts of a speech by Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.

FCA's spokeswoman said the company's advertising agency approached the King estate to get licensing to use words from "The Drum Major Instinct" sermon and was referred to Intellectual Properties Management Inc., which manages King's estate.

Overall, says the company, the Ram ad is in line with the integrity clearances and its message embodies MLK's "philosophy that true greatness is achieved by serving others".

NEW YORK (AP) - A Ram truck ad that used a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., is drawing a backlash.

However, the estate's managing director spoke to Slate on allowing King's words to used in the ad.

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"Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and I'm a flawless representation by enjoying not just the luxury, but the right to a free education". Professor Kelly O'Keefe of Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter says, "They pushed it over the edge".

The Drum Major Institute, a civil rights organisation named after King's speech, pointed out the irony of a section of the sermon that was left out from the ad.

"Sometimes we only read parts of Martin Luther King speeches that make us feel good", said Eric Thomas. I think American greatness.

The ad ends with a still that reads, "Built to serve: Ram".

The King estate is well-known for asking for compensation to use King's likeness or words. "And at least now we're starting to talk about Martin Luther King instead of it just being a holiday to be off". That ostensible "alignment" didn't seem to convince The King Center, which distanced itself from the ad on Twitter. "That's the new definition of greatness", MLK can be heard saying. "We felt that it encouraged a spirit of service.it wasn't an ad to sell the truck", Morris said. While intentions were good, controversy sparked when The King Center, the nonprofit started by Coretta Scott King, tweeted no involvement with the ad. Segregationist George Wallace finished at #7 on the list the year before MLK was assassinated, while Dr. King did not even make the cut.