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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Post# 236 - Audiovox Car Alarms and Their Sexist Slogan, "Stop Him!"

My letter to Audiovox, sent 10/22/1996:


Dear Audiovox,

Your slogan, “Stop Him!” implies that only men steal cars.  This misleading statement disarms people from the potential of falling victim to a female thief.

As a psychologist who works in an all-woman half-way home, I rarely come in contact with other males.  What if I told you that I inadvertently left my alarm off in the half-way home parking lot because there isn’t another living man for miles?  What if I told you that a woman stole my ‘89 Beretta (and several other cars) and was caught six (6) months later stealing Bisquick and maple syrup at the Piggly Wiggly.

Your slogan implies that only men cause problems.  Men are pigs.  Men are worthless.  Men leave the toilet seat up.  Men eat all of the pretzels out of the Chex Mix.  Men caused our deficit.  Men invented P.M.S.  A man shot Lincoln.  Men raised our taxes.  Men are the root of all of our problems. 

“A woman would never think to do it.”  Remember--a woman caused our “game misconduct” in Eden.  A woman took a shot at President Ford.  A woman tore up a picture of the Pope on live TV (and went as Right Guard roll-on for Halloween).  A woman broke up the Beatles.  A woman invented those disgusting Raspberry/Coconut Zingers (Dolly Madison) and served them to the men as they prepared our first Constitution.  Woman are no better, or worse than men.  Always judge people based upon who they are--not their gender.

I think that you should change your slogan to “Stop Him, or Her!”  This would open everyones’ eyes.  This would eliminate the blind sight that you have created.  Maybe then, we could clot the crime that bleeds from the arteries of our society.  Let’s think about it.  Besides, your slogan is a slap in the face to the entire male gender.

Lastly, for all of the trouble that you have caused me, how about a free car alarm.

Alarmed,

Jerry
------------
Response from Audiovox,

Dear Audiovox Customer:

This is in reply to your recent letter in which you outlined
difficulties you have experienced.  I tried to contact you via
telephone and was unsuccessful.

I would like to address this situation as soon as possible and attempt to restore your faith in Audiovox products and service.
May I suggest that you call me directly at
1-800-645-4994 or 516-436-6326.

I appreciate your bringing such problems to my attention, as
we constantly strive to improve on the products and service we
provide to our Audiovox customers.
Sincerely,

Carl L. Peters
National Service Manager
---------------------
Follow-up sent 12/3/1996

Dear Mr. Peters:

I appreciate your prompt response to my letter.  I was impressed by the fact that you attempted (unsuccessfully) to get in contact with me by phone--the personal touch.  The problem lies in the fact that I canceled my phone service and flushed my phone (bit by bit) down the toilet.  It seems that my job (at the woman’s half-way house) often followed me home in the form of 3:00 AM phone calls. I am afraid that we’ll have to resolve this matter by mail.

My car was returned, and the female thief apprehended.  It seems that her pregnancy cravings of Bisquick and Maple Syrup got her into trouble.  As Lila left the Piggly Wiggly, she tore into that box like an angry grizzly.  The security camera identified her, and the police were on their way.  As she inhaled the powder, she would “swig” on the syrup.  The syrup dribbled down the bottle and adhered to her hands, and the powder found its way onto the syrup.  As she drove off, the police met up with her, and a high speed chase began.  She shook the officers, and ditched my Beretta in the woods, only to be found an hour later with a big ol’ Bisquick Goatee.  It seems that she “tarred and feathered” herself.  The Bisquick people keep calling me because they want to sponsor some sort of after-school special about the whole charade. 

Lila was sentenced to three to five years in the state penitentiary, with the Bisquick/Mrs. Butterworth goop on my steering wheel as the smoking gun.  To this day,  my car smells like a Sunday morning pancake breakfast at St. Patrick’s Church.  I think that the best way for you to resolve the problem is simply to change your slogan.

Deactivated,

Jerry
--------------------
Audiovox reponse, dated 1/10/97:

Dear Jerry:

I must say I appreciate your letters pointing out our misguided belief (or implied belief) that men are
the only ones who steal cars, and are “the root of all of our problems.” For this reason, I am going to pass your letter up to our division vice president, who will in turn pass it onto our corporate marketing vice president to view on your well taken constructive criticism.  Should I mention that our marketing VP is a woman?

However, I am pleased to hear that the pregnant bisquick maple syrup eating fool was apprehended and
your Barretta returned relatively unscathed.  In closing, I would like to say that our auto alarms systems, as sophisticated as they are, cannot guarantee your automobile not be stolen.  They are intended only to deter
thieves as I am sure you already know.  Additionally, you indicated in your letter that you did not arm the car.  Needless to say your car was stolen.  For this reason, we cannot replace your alarm system at no charge.

 Your point or constructive criticism relative to our slogan “Stop Him” has been taken into
consideration and is greatly appreciated.  However, no change is anticipated at this time as we are well into production.

I have attempted several times to reach you by phone and would like to discuss this with you if you
would like.  You can reach me at my direct line number 516-436-6326 or 1-800-645-4994.
                                               
Sincerely,

Carl L. Peters
National Service Manager
Audiovox Corp. Automotive Division

CLP/lmg
------------------
Response to Carl Peters, sent 1/14/1997:

Dear Mr. Peters:

Today was difficult.  I scolded Peggy for “holding back” during group.  I said some things that I wish could be taken back.  I only hope that I have not upset the chemistry that I have worked so hard to build.

Thank you for your response.  You seem like a caring man--one who seeks to find the answer to a problem or concern out of a sense of duty.   However, I am alarmed by the fact that my alarm cannot be replaced do to the fact that I “did not arm the car.”

In graduate school, I performed my thesis on Advertisement and the Human Response.  My conclusion:

“Advertisement is effective because of one basic and undeniable principle: it drives a slogan into ones’ head until it alters the thought process altogether.” 

In this instance, the result is a false sense of security around the feminine gender.  Lila’s theft resulted from my unarmed alarm system, that resulted from this “Achilles’ Heel Effect,” that you caused with your (sexist) slogan!  In a sense,  Audiovox disarmed my car.  You should feel some sense of responsibility.  I certainly would.

Carl, I would like a letter from the person who came up with that silly slogan.  Group brainstorm or not, “Stop Him” came from someone’s lips--presumably a bitter woman (let’s call her “Helen”), consumed by the feelings of inadequacy that result from divorce/break-up complications.  These feelings toward the former partner (let’s call him “Chad”)  manifest themselves in the form of bitterness toward Chad’s entire gender (e.g. “All men are filthy pigs who leave the seat up and fly to Acapulco with their 23 year-old secretary--Miranda”).  Helen often finds strength, not in the arms of another (let’s call him “Pedro”), but in groups comprised of people with similar stories.  That is, until the Pedro comes along and promises something new.  Then, Helen will just as soon stab each group member in the back with a dull knife and hop on a plane with Pedro, for Aruba. 

I would like to help Helen overcome her feelings of inadequacy.  She must feel good about herself before she can ever expect to feel good in the arms of Pedro, who is just a short term band aid for a larger cancer that, if not treated, will result in insomnia, chronic depression, alcoholism, and possibly suicide.  Of course, I am assuming that a woman would feel this resentment, but if it is a man (let’s call him “Spartacus”), I have some background in male relationship behavior.  Still, I would like to know for my own sake, why you have that slogan. 

Locking My Doors and Using The Club Since I Have no Alarm,

Jerry
-------------------
Carl's reponse, sent with a brand new Audiovox Alarm System, dated 1/31/1997:

Dear Jerry,
You wore me out.  My sympathy overflows - anyone who can survive the riggers of an all women
facility and still keeps his sense of humor deserves a free alarm system.  That is not a sexist remark and please no more analytical dribble.  You won!!


 Enjoy it and keep the faith.


P.S.  I am also worried about the damage (possibly irreversible) you have done to Peggy.

Sincerely,



Carl L. Peters
National Service Manager
Audiovox Corp. Automotive Division

CLP/lmg               

               



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