Volvo has agreed to alter a global TV ad about seatbelt safety after complaints from the New York Times.

The ad, by Swedish agency Forsman and Bodenfors, uses a series of quotes from media to illustrate how people thought it was a “terrible idea” when seatbelts were first introduced in 1959. At one point in the spot, which features real-life survivors of crashes, a voiceover, seemingly from a news broadcast, says that the “New York Times reports it is a violation of human rights.” 

In an email to Ad Age, a spokeswoman for the New York Times said it had asked Volvo to remove the reference, stating: “It appears Volvo is referring to statements by an advocate against the seatbelt laws who wrote a letter to the editor and was quoted in a news story (here and here, in 1986). We can find no other instance of those words in an editorial, news story or column.” 



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