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
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
"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
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