Audi Super Bowl ad with 'eco-cops' draws fire from industry

The American Chemistry Council is upset with a Super Bowl ad that showed “eco-cops” busting people for using plastic bags.

The ad by Audi promoted its A3 TDI “clean diesel” vehicle and was meant to be humorous.

It showed thuggish eco-cops busting people pulling people out of their homes or cars for using plastic shopping bags and other “eco” crimes. One eco-cop tells a guy he cuffed at the supermarket: “You picked the wrong day to mess with the ecosystem, plastic boy.”

Failing to recycle and using inefficient light bulbs also bring a swift and heavy “Green Police” response. But a guy driving the A3 TDI is allowed through an “eco checkpoint” because the cops recognize the car’s green bona fides.

The American Chemistry Council isn’t laughing.

“The tongue-in-cheek ads also demonstrate the shortcomings of using conventional wisdom to make choices regarding the environment – particularly when it comes to plastics,” the industry lobbying group said. It set up a website (www.greenpoliceconfused.com) in advance of the ad’s airing that fires back at Audi.

“Just as people may be surprised to hear the term ‘clean diesel’ attached to the Green Car of the Year (Audi’s A3 TDI), many people also may be surprised at the environmental benefits of plastics,” the website explains.

“So when the Green Police (and their little anteater) show up at your house or stop you in your diesel Audi A3 TDI, you now can point out the all the ways that plastics lighten the load on the environment,” it concludes.