Hyundai and major network executives felt no issue in authorizing the creation and broadcast of several commercials that depict scenes such as a messy and unorganized bedroom to the tune of The Sound of Music’s “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” the point of which is this new wave of particularly troublesome teenage drivers will need especially safe cars to counter-balance their inclinations towards reckless driving. While the existence of one insulting commercial will not change perceptions one way or the other, the mass dissemination of certain images and stereotypes of youth throughout mainstream media outlets on a daily basis does influence and mold public opinion. These negative stereotypes lead to the creation of further restrictions, penalties and limitations on young people. In the case of Kyleigh’s Law in NJ, perhaps even exposing young people to danger.

We therefore have a responsibility to urge the media, especially major broadcasters, to air and publish less offensive ageist caricatures and generalizations. The same goes for the root source of those images. NYRA members have begun a campaign targeting Hyundai for their negative ads about teens. When a company insults any other group in society, they suffer public backlash. It is therefore up to us to make ourselves heard about Hyundai’s irresponsible and offensive ad campaign about teens. Several NYRA members have written letters to Hyundai to complain and several have gotten responses.

Hyundai’s consumer affairs email address is consumeraffairs@hmausa.com; please contact the auto company and express your sentiments about their demeaning advertisements. Please let us know in the forums if you’ve contacted them and if they’ve responded. We can’t let them insult youth without consequences!