TrueCar is catching heat for an ad that implies women lack the skills and confidence to buy a car without a man present, and that the company's service can finally make women independent.
“I don’t need to bring a dude with me,” a girl says in a commercial for TrueCar.com.
The ad for the used car pricing service originally aired in March, according to the Huffington Post. In it, several women provide “testimonials” for the service.
“I talk big, right, and at the dealership I was trying to hold my own, and it’s kind of tough,” says one woman.
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“I felt confident going in on my own and closing the deal on my own,” another woman said after using TrueCar.
TrueCar promises customers a “hassle-free car buying experience,” but where are the testimonials from men?
"Apparently women have to research pricing, while men have the magical ability to guess it on the nose like they're securing a spot on The Price Is Right,” wrote David Griner of Adweek.
Many consumers took to the company’s Facebook page asking for them to apologize.
"Wow. I guess all women are just scared, meek, docile little creatures that get intimidated by car dealerships,” another woman wrote.
"As a man, you're [sic] commercials embarrass me," posted a man. "The notion that women need a 'dude' to navigate the apparent labyrinth that is the automotive market is not only incorrect, its out-dated and offensive ... It is possible to appeal to one gender without degrading another.”
On the social media front, the company has been oddly quiet on the subject.
“Is anybody monitoring your social media presence?" One woman asked on Facebook. "Have you noticed that people are offended by your commercial?”
TrueCar told Huffington Post the ad was meant to empower women and that it was inspired by a survey from 2006 that 77 percent of women plan to bring a man with them to buy a car.
"Regardless of race or gender, being a more informed car buyer benefits consumers," said TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter in statement to Huffington Post. "This particular ad is pro-consumer and pro-women. It was developed by our creative director, who is a woman, and it addresses a real consumer issue in the marketplace."