A much-forwarded e-mail message suggests the automaker Honda has produced video "advertisements" featuring the leader of Hezbollah and the President of Iran. The messages provide links to sites where the online videos may be downloaded and viewed.
In fact, the videos are not produced by Honda, and the company has assured ADL it had nothing to do with their creation or distribution. In response to inquiries about the ads, the automaker has released the following statement:
"Honda has recently discovered that a false and misleading video purporting to be an official Honda advertisement has been circulating on the Internet. This misleading and defamatory video illegally and inappropriately uses the Honda trademark and other images to make it appear that Honda is engaged in making political statements regarding the Middle East. Honda had absolutely nothing to do with the creation or distribution of this fictitious advertisement, and neither sponsored nor approved it. Honda has been taking definitive steps to remove it from Internet Web sites, including legal action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, among other measures."
The videos, which portray themselves as advertisements for Honda's hybrid vehicles, have been circulating online for at least a year.
The different versions of video proceed in roughly the same way: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leading a large crowd chanting "Death to Israel." The scene of the massive crowd chanting dissolves into the words "less fuel, less money for terror" and then implores viewers to switch to a hybrid vehicle. The ad then claims it was "sponsored by Honda."