Here we have an ad for Audi that fittingly arrives just days after the women's marches and protests across the country.
All of this is to say that "Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work", and that "progress is for everyone". Our collective memories of notable Super Bowl ads, from Apple's 1984 introduction of the Macintosh to Budweiser's frogs, often last longer than the highlights of the games themselves. "In 2017 and beyond, we continue to support pay equality and pledge to put aggressive hiring and development strategies in place to increase the number of women in our workforce, at all levels", said Loren Angelo, the vice president of marketing at Audi of America. During a voice-over, he wonders, "What do I tell my daughter?". He also adds, "That she will automatically be valued less than every man she'll ever meet?"
This was a point made on Twitter, forcing the company to defend itself and undermining the message of its own ad.
Audi says it has also partnered with the AFI FEST (the American Film Institute festival) for its Audi Fellowship scholarship, promising to award a female director admittance to the AFI Conservatory. On YouTube, there are 36,261 negative thumbs down reactions verses a mere 2,956 thumbs up reactions. "Tell her to buy a Dodge". Beyond their commitment to striving for equity when it comes to pay in the vehicle industry, they have pledged to help women enter STEM fields and creative fields. It does not compare women and men in the same job with the same education, years of experience, or hours worked, for example.
The carmaker cites a 2016 report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee finding that women, on average, were paid 21 percent less than men. According to Pew, "based on hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers, women earn 84% of what men earn". These are choices that individuals make and choices that they should be able to make, even if a choice leads to a lower salary. Prior to the opening of Super Bowl this Sunday, Audi has already dropped a sampler of its latest commercial to be shown in the big event. No surprise, the daughter ends up winning the race. Audi should have left the political message out and stuck to the racing.