Toyota pulls card after Jackson protests

TORRANCE, CA: Executives from Toyota Motor Sales USA have disclosed

details of a meeting with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the

Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, in the hopes of thwarting a possible

boycott.



Jackson held a press conference in Detroit prior to the meeting, voicing

objections to a postcard promotion launched by Toyota in early May. The

card, by Saatchi & Saatchi, featured a closeup photograph of an African

American man wearing tooth art in the shape of a gold RAV4 model

Toyota.



"The creation and placement of offensive marketing materials speaks to

the persistent problem of racial and cultural insensitivity," said

Jackson in a statement. He also announced his "five steps of

interaction" plan, which includes research, education, negotiation,

reconciliation and demonstration "if necessary."



The Coalition also claimed that out of Toyota's 1,452 dealerships, only

74 are owned by women or minorities.



Toyota issued an apology before the face-to-face, saying the campaign

had been pulled on May 14, "before the company learned of any concerns

from Rainbow/PUSH."



Toyota spokesman Mike Michaels said: "We are developing a crisis plan

and have worked with a number of consultants."



After the meeting, Toyota confirmed its commitment to diversity in a

statement.



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