South Dakota officials have decided to yank a "Don't Jerk and Drive" safety campaign after a powerful legislator and some members of the public complained about the sexual innuendo in the phrase.
The campaign, intended to raise awareness about the dangers of jerking, or overcorrecting, with a steering wheel while driving on icy roads, was pulled after officials decided that the phrase was too risque and detracted from the serious message of the safety campaign.
In a statement to the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, officials admitted that the double entendre was intentional.
"I decided to pull the ad," said Trevor Jones, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, in a statement. "This is an important safety message and I don't want this innuendo to distract from our goal to save lives on the road."
The department pulled the ad after Republican state Rep. Mike Verchio, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said he planned to call Lee Axdahl, director of the South Dakota office of Highway Safety, before the committee to explain himself, according to the Argus Leader. In addition, some members of the public complained about the tone of the ads.
Another ad in the campaign included a drawing of a yellow car with the phrase "Jerking isn't a joke," "Think before you jerk," and "Keep calm and don't jerk the wheel," along with a video on YouTube.
The campaign played on the double meaning of the word "jerk," which can also be a euphemism for masturbation.