VW official endorses controversial Super Bowl spot

VW official endorses controversial Super Bowl spot

February 1st, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

Jonathan Browning

Jonathan Browning

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Volkswagen's chief in the U.S. today endorsed the company's controversial Super Bowl spot.

"If you look at the coverage in social media, the vast majority understand the spirit in which the commerical was developed," said Volkswagen Group of America CEO Jonathan Browning.

Browning, in the company's monthly conference call with industry analysts and reporters, said "a real minority" of commentators have questioned VW's "Get Happy" spot that it plans to air Sunday during the Super Bowl.

The commercial has drawn criticism from some for racism for the use of a white office worker using a fake Jamaican accent.

But, VW said that its 60-second advertisement "stays true to the brand's storytelling heritage of 'human stories, told simply.'

Meanwhile, VW reported its best January since 1974 with 29,018 units delivered in the U.S. and a 6.7 percent increase over the same month a year ago.

The Chattanooga-based Passat had its best January ever with sales of 8,856, up 40.2 percent from a year ago.

For the full story, see Saturday's Times Free Press.