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"Boom Car" Ads Promote Mean Streets and People, Prof. Ted Rueter Writes

March 11, 2005

ted-rueter.jpgMarch 11, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "For many people, springtime means blooming flowers, chirping birds, and glorious sunshine," writes Ted Rueter, assistant professor of political science at DePauw University, in today's Herald-Times of Bloomington, Indiana. "For millions of Americans, however, spring means the return of loud car stereos thundering through their neighborhoods. Boom cars turn spring into a time of anxiety, angst, depression, and even sorrow."

Rueter, who serves as director of Noise Free America, continues: "Repugnant, intense noise disturbs sleep and relaxation, fosters criminality, and decreases property values," and asserts, "The aggressive, constant pounding and thumping from boom cars is strongly encouraged by malicious advertising from the electronics industry. Pioneer Electronics, for example, recently launched a stealth $3 million advertising campaign for its car stereo equipment, with the theme 'Disturb,' 'Defy,' 'Disrupt,' and 'Ignite.'" Dr. Rueter says, through its ads, Pioneer is stating "That they have the right to disturb the peace from a mile away. That they have feelings of aggression and hostility toward society. That they have the right to assault communities. Pioneer and other electronics compacar speakers.jpgnies are supporting violence, thuggery and delinquency."

The professor says other audio manufacturers are guilty of promoting the same theme, and that the advertisements are often "violently sexual. MTX advises, 'Turn it up/ Keep it up'... MA Audio's slogan is 'Murdering all weak beats with slammin' Hard-Kore POWER' (complete with a nearly-naked woman brandishing a knife).'" Rueter says the industry has a strong ally on Capitol Hill: Darrell Issa, the founder of Viper Audio and Alarms, is a Republican congressman from California and former chairman of the powerful Consumer Electronics Association, "which uses its financial muscle to lobby against local ordinances protecting peace and quiet."

In summary, Rueter states, "Car stereo and performance auto parts cwinter walk ec.jpgompanies are promoting mean streets and mean people. Boom car advertising champions brutality, savagery, and acoustic terrorism. Boom car equipment is at the core of a vicious, violent, anti-social subculture. The nation needs to take strong action against the growing menace of loud car stereos."

Access the complete text, which appears in today's edition, by clicking here.

Ted Rueter was quoted in a September 11, 2004 Washington Post story on noise; read more by clicking here. Learn about a February 25 op-ed by the professor on smoking restrictions here.

Source: Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times

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