This Anti-Tesla Super Bowl Ad Just Got Bad Attention From the NTSB


The National Transportation Safety Board, a U.S. government agency tasked with investigating accidents, ordered the Dawn Project organization to stop using its seal after it appeared in a Super Bowl ad calling on consumers to boycott Tesla.

The NTSB said in a letter that its seal must be immediately removed from the Dawn Project website and YouTube page, as well as from any further broadcasts of the advertisement. NTSB said in a press release that he has not authorized the use of his seal and does not approve the work of Project Dawn.

“We used the NTSB seal in our second Super Bowl LVIII ad as we referenced Tesla’s refusal to implement the NTSB’s prudent safety recommendations, recommendations with which the Dawn Project fully agrees.” , a Dawn Project spokesperson said by email. “Unlike Tesla, we have great respect for the NTSB.”

The Dawn Project, a security advocacy group funded by tech CEO Dan O’Dowd, aired two ads during Super Bowl LVIII in Washington, D.C., Dover, Delaware, Santa Barbara, California, and Traverse City, Michigan – the city where the American Secretary of Transportation is located. Pete Buttigieg lives. The cost of running the ads in these markets was $552,000.

The ads criticize Tesla Full Self-Driving, advanced driver assistance software that O’Dowd says has critical safety flaws. FSD is not autonomous. Instead, the upgraded $12,000 system performs some automated driving tasks and requires a human driver to be ready to take control at any time.

The Dawn project has campaigned against using Tesla FSD for years now, including running an ad in last year’s Super Bowl. This year, the group used the NTSB label in its advertising, which caught the agency’s attention. NTSB General Counsel William McMurry Jr. called the use illegal and noted that the ad was also posted on the group’s webpage and YouTube page.

The agency also included a screenshot of the announcement, shown below.

Danw project announces Tesla ntsb

Image credits: NTSB

“Due to the nature of our work and the need to be unambiguously independent of commercial interests, we strive to protect the international reputation of the NTSB by preventing unapproved use of our seal,” the letter said. “Contrary to federal law, you have not obtained, and the NTSB has not granted, permission to use the NTSB seal in your Super Bowl LVIII advertising or on any other materials. Additionally, your unauthorized use of the NTSB seal falsely implies NTSB endorsement of your business and/or message.


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