Emerging news on Wednesday that Bruce Springsteen was arrested for DWI last fall threatens to derail Jeep’s marketing push that makes use of the rock icon.
The reports of the Nov. 14 arrest come just three days after Springsteen appeared in a two-minute Super Bowl ad for the brand, called “The Middle,” in which he called for unity in the deeply divided country.
The brand shot the commercial in late January, and it remained active on Jeep’s YouTube channel until it was pulled Wednesday afternoon. It had garnered more than 37 million views. The ad was originally scheduled to air only once on TV, during the game, according to a person familiar with the matter. The ad directs viewers to a special website called “The road ahead” but it does not include any Springsteen imagery.
Asked if Jeep knew about the DWI before the ad shoot, a spokesperson issued the following statement on Wednesday: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate. But it’s also right that we pause our big game commercial until the actual facts can be established. Its message of community and unity is as relevant as ever. As is the message that drinking and driving can never be condoned.”