December 1, 2008
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: The Heartland America catalog, based in Chaska, Minnesota has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award for promoting audio terrorism in its advertising of stereo products. Heartland America’s promotion of anti-social behavior and thuggery is in distinct contrast with Minnesota’s reputation for hospitality, courtesy, civic virtue, and niceness.
In its advertisement for Technical Pro Integrated Receiver, the Heartland America catalog boasts, “Unbelievable power! Blow out the windows on the block with 1500 watts of pure, raw power!” The ad also states, “Now you don’t have to be rich to have the biggest, baddest stereo system in the neighborhood.” Another boast: “The first thing you notice about this Technical Pro Receiver is the power: all 1500 ear-splitting watts of it.”
Mike Smith, a member of Noise Free America, wrote a letter to Heartland America complaining about their obnoxious advertisement: “Promotions like this have encouraged millions of people to blast their musical noise in neighborhoods across the country. If you have to promote such a device with such malicious language, then you shouldn’t sell this trash to begin with.” Smith also noted that Heartland America was promoting obnoxious language and the use of stereo equipment as an assault weapon.
Heartland America’s promotion of audio thuggery has a long tradition in the stereo industry. Several years ago, Pioneer Electronics launched a $3 million advertising campaign for subwoofers and powerful amplifiers with the theme “Disturb,” “Defy,” Disrupt,” and “Ignite.” JBL gloats, “Either we love BASS or hate your neighbors.” JL Audio warns, “Be Very Afraid.” MSX swaggers that it is “proud to be loud.” Kicker asserts, “You deserve a beating….Kicker’s loudest, meanest subwoofer ever.” Concept blusters, “When TOO loud…is just right!” Lightning Audio promises “sonic submission.” Boss Audio Systems advises, “Turn it down? I don’t think so.” Cerwin-Vega Mobile Audio vows to “Shake the living, wake the dead” and celebrates “Maximum Boom: 50 more years of disturbing the peace.” Crossfire crows, “We’re louder…Deal with it!” Panosonic brags that its systems are “loud as hell.” Earthquake Sound offers “the Meanest, Loudest, Most Powerful, Mother F——- Amplifiers Money Can Buy!”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, commented that “thousands of neighborhoods have been ruined by boom cars. Repugnant, intense noise disturbs peace and relaxation, fosters criminality, and decreases property values. The Heartland America catalog is promoting mean streets and mean people. Boom car advertising champions brutality, savagery, and acoustic terrorism. Boom car equipment is at the core of a vicious, anti-social subculture. The nation needs to take strong action against the growing menace of loud car stereos.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution www.noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Circuit City, Dollar General, and the SEMA Action Network.