Activists are saying the auto industry has gone too far to sell cars this time. They’re angry because the new Lorax movie — a film based on a book about how some corporations care only about profits and not about the environment — includes a tie-in with the Mazda Corporation.

The Lorax is based on a 1971 Dr. Seuss book about environmental stewardship. In it, a Truffula tree forest was clear-cut to make way for the four-lane highway the Once-ler built to sell more Thneeds. The outcry is that the car tie-in is being used to make people feel less guilty about purchasing Mazdas.

To add to it, Mazda is taking the Lorax himself, along with their graphics-wrapped SUVs, into elementary schools. Mazda claims it’s a “celebration of reading, a fundraiser for public-school libraries” but critics are calling the move “an opportunity to market Mazdas to the pint-size set. While they don’t buy many cars themselves, they have direct access to parents who do.”

Here’s the commercial. Watch for yourself and tell me what you think.

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