Ford’s New Ad Shows Solidarity With Saudi Women

“Welcome to the driver’s seat.”

Earlier this week, after a decree from King Salman, Saudi Arabia became the last country on Earth to grant women the right to drive. Beginning in June 2018, women will be allowed to have a driver’s license without permission of their husbands or fathers. The kingdom hopes the change will improve its image on the world stage and help its sluggish economy as well.

Lower oil prices have eliminated many government jobs, so Saudi officials have been pushing its workers, including women, into the private sector. But the inability to drive legally forced many women to hire drivers, diminishing the incentive to work. Saudi officials hope that making it easier for women to commute will boost productivity.

International automakers are understandably excited for the change as well. Ford Motor Company leaped at the opportunity to cash in on the new market by releasing a striking ad showing the brand’s solidarity with Saudi women.


In a tweet Wednesday, Ford shared an ad featuring a Saudi woman looking in a rearview mirror. The black material behind the mirror resembles that of a niqāb, a veil that Saudi women wear in public. The simple, powerful image also featured a caption that read: “Welcome to the driver’s seat.”

Although other automakers released ads soon after, Tim Nudd of Adweek thinks Ford’s was the most successful. “The beauty is in the simplicity—an advantage the Ford work had over competing efforts from brands like Nissan and Volkswagen,” he wrote.


Allowing women behind the wheel should work wonders for the country’s auto market. 2016 saw a 30% dip in sales after a long upward trend. Automotive forecaster LMC Automotive predicts that auto sales will increase 15% to 20% annually in the country over the next few years.

But the new rule isn’t great news for everyone. A large portion of the kingdom’s migrant workforce — over 1.3 million men — are currently employed in the as drivers, and many are now likely to lose their jobs.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet