Why is One Million Moms Going after Jiffy Lube?

Good intentions, hasty action?

Late last week, One Million Moms posted a Current Issue advisory concerning a “lewd Jiffy Lube ad.” The post describes the ad briefly and calls on readers to take action and send an email to Jiffy Lube president Rick Altizer requesting that the ad be pulled.

As a result, Jiffy Lube received what president Altizer described as “an avalanche of response” over the weekend.

One Million Moms’ attention to things like these is commendable. I’m glad they care. But in this case, their actions were not well informed.

Some relevant facts

  • Though Jiffy Lube is not a “Christian company,” Rick Altizer is a Christian, a graduate of Bob Jones University and the son of a retired IFB pastor—a textbook “conservative values” guy.
  • Rick agrees that the ad is in poor taste and should not have aired.
  • The ad was not part of a national campaign, but rather, an effort launched by a local franchisee in the Long Island, NY area.
  • Jiffy Lube has processes in place for approving or rejecting franchisee advertising, but these were circumvented by the franchisee after the ad was rejected by the normal process.
  • The franchisee had already been issued a cease-and-desist. Altizer says he believes the ad has been pulled, but efforts are underway to verify that.

One frustration for Jiffy Lube is that One Million Moms does not provide any means of contact that can match a posted advisory for speed. Though letters from Jiffy Lube are in the mail and phone calls will be made, by the time these methods of communication are able to clear things up, a fair amount of resources have already been tied up unnecessarily in dealing with the situation.

In general, perhaps One Million Moms would be more effective, and their cause better served, if they made two changes:

One, gather information more thoroughly before posting a call-to-action and two, include at the website some means for targeted companies to quickly post a response.

The situation serves as a reminder of why passion needs information. In biblical terms, love must “abound … in knowledge and all discernment.” (Phil. 1:9, NKJV)


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There are 5 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture


Rick says he was able to reach One Million Moms this morning and OMM was very responsive. They'll most likely be pulling the alert and/or posting something with more information about the issue.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

RPittman's picture

Aaron, you said it well. OMM should make some changes. Whereas their zeal is commendable, their knowledge and discernment is somewhat lacking. Their original email stated:

Jiffy Lube is running a summer ad that is disgusting and offensive. It is disturbing to find out that a company feels the need to stoop so low for a profit.

  1. They made an error of fact. It was not Jiffy Lube as a company but it was a franchise of Jiffy Lube that placed the ad.
  2. They a value judgment on the motives of the company.

Well, we all make mistakes and it is understandable that OMM got carried away. However, my problem with OMM is their self-congratulatory attitude in the follow-up post. They wrote:

Your voice was heard! Thank YOU for helping make a difference!

Not only do they fail to show humility for jumping the gun but they are seemingly taking credit for short-circuiting a suggestive and offensive ad campaign. It probably was not that big of a thing. The ad was local and was destined to be short-lived once it came to the attention of the Jiffy Lube higher-ups. A single email or telegram to Rick Altizer would probably have had the same effect as the many emails. OMM should learn and change.

Whereas I appreciate and approve of watchdog groups, I do recognize the dangers implicit in such enterprises. Sometimes, these groups can become an end of themselves. They carry clout and their judgments are uncritically accepted by good intentioned people. If caution and care is not exercised by the group, their clout can be misused and abused. Such groups must be self-disciplined to avoid injustices to innocent parties and discredit to their cause. To laud a minor foul-up as a victory is not good practice. Perhaps, a few emails should point out the error of their ways to OMM.

Aaron Blumer's picture


Someone should ring bells somewhere. Roland and I agree on something. Biggrin

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Shaynus's picture

Probably OMM didn't realize they were dealing with possibly the highest placed fundamentalist Christian in corporate America. They probably didn't know how to deal with a sympathetic audience and went for the jugular. We all do it, it's just that we don't usually have a million of us doing it at once.

Jim's picture


Jiffy Lube® International, Inc. (JLI), with more than 2,000 franchised service centers in North America, serves approximately 24 million customers each year. Headquartered in Houston, TX, Jiffy Lube is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Shell Oil Company. Jiffy Lube service centers are 100 percent franchise-owned, independently owned and operated by 252 entity groups.

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