Statement from FCA US about ram truck brand 'Built To Serve'

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It ends with a still that reads: "Built to serve: Ram".

"Once the final creative was presented for approval, it was reviewed to ensure it met our standard integrity clearances", Tidwell said in a statement to the Times on Sunday.

"We just encourage them to make sure that if they do it, that they do put Dr. King and the message in the forefront, the brand in the background", Morris said. With a Super Bowl commercial on Sunday that used as its soundtrack a sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In doing this, the new version of the ad creates a distinct contrast from last night's Ram commercial. Ram instead got the rights from Intellectual Properties Management, the licenser of Dr. King's estate.

The commercial uses lines from King's speech on greatness and service, which he delivered on February 4, 1968 - exactly 50 years ago from Sunday.

Jennifer Jenkins, director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University's School of Law, says she respects the right of King's family to maintain their father's legacy.

The almost universal reaction was that FCA tried to use Dr. King as the equivalent of a auto salesman. The "Drum Major Instinct" sermon was all about serving one's fellow man.

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During the advertisement, King's 1968 "Drum Major Instinct" speech played over footage of different Americans having happy moments and working hard to accomplish goals with the help of Ram's trucks.

Others pointed to comments Dr King had made in the same sermon that were not included in the advertisement. "They have a way of saying things to you that kind of gets you into buying". So if you make an income of $5,000, your vehicle shouldn't cost more than about $2,500.

Roland Martin provided some insight to this on Twitter, writing, "Dexter King runs the MLK Estate".

The King Center, which was founded by King's late wife, Coretta Scott King, said it had nothing to do with the commercial. That victory wasn't the only surprise in store for viewers, however, as a commercial for Dodge's Ram trucks struck an unpleasant chord with many watching the game - and prompted them to sound off on social media.

Bernice King responded to a tweet asking if the King children approved the commercial with a succinct "No".

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