Saturday, September 15, 2007

Gas guzzling radio promotion proves Clear Channel not so green after all

On a week when fires choked skies with smoke and air quality was so bad that people with breathing conditions were asked to stay indoors, Clear Channel's Modesto radio station KOSO-FM (B-93) ran one of radio's most brainless contests.

The station, along with Tracy Chevrolet, left a car running in idle and had listeners guess when it would run out of gas. See the promotion here.

The person who guessed when the car ran out, down to the second, would get a year's worth of free gas.

This Merced Sun-star blogger called the car dealer, where an employee told her that the promotion was no worse than getting stuck in traffic, something she took issue with. Idling cars throw out more pollution.

Here's what California's Energy Commission has to say about idling:

HERE'S THE RULE OF THUMB: If you're in a drive-through restaurant/business line or waiting for someone and you'll be parked and sitting for 10 seconds or longer... turn off your car's engine. Why?? For every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel it takes to go about one mile.

The great irony here is that Clear Channel and its concert spin off Live Nation, have been promoting themselves as green companies. Clear Channel's San Francisco outpost, KKGN-AM calls itself "Green 960."

Did the company sanction such a dumb promotion, held just down the freeway from where a Sacramento station last year held the water drinking contest that killed a mother trying to win a video game console for her children?

If there isn't a law against this kind of stupidity, there should be.

(photo: B93.1 DJ Zac Davis)

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