Honda Issues Apology to Narcolepsy Community and Pulls Ad

Julie Flygare Narcolepsy Not Alone Honda Ad Pulled Apology Issued to Narcolepsy Community We did itWE DID IT! Thank you for supporting the petition asking Honda to remove the inaccurate “Synth and Seattleites” ad stating people with narcolepsy shouldn’t drive and to dedicate resources toward truthful awareness. We collected over 2,100 signatures in 36 hours!

Screen shot 2014-06-22 at 12.21.33 AMLate last night, we saw our first sign of response. The ad’s YouTube video ( became PRIVATE so that no one can view it or comment on it. (Boy, I’ve never been so happy to see a SAD FACE!  🙂 )

This morning, I spoke with Robyn Eagles, Honda North America’s Manager of Public Relations, who assured me that the ad has been pulled and will not air on television. Their marketing team will revise to remove narcolepsy portion.

In addition, Honda has issued the following statement to our community:

“In a series of ads for the 2015 Honda Fit, the company attempted to demonstrate how the Fit answers the needs of the customer in a very direct, yet humorous way. One ad in particular addressed narcolepsy in a manner that is insensitive. We have heard from those with the disorder and understand their concerns with our positioning of narcolepsy within the ad. To that end, Honda has pulled the ad from its YouTube channel and will not air the “Synth in Seattlites” ad with any reference to narcolepsy on television. We apologize to those who are living with and managing this disorder each day. Please know that Honda did not intend to hurt those affected by the condition.”

I have asked to visit Honda’s Headquarters here in Los Angeles to share my inspiring narcolepsy presentation. I look forward to a response and I’ll keep you posted on this fantastic educational opportunity.

Thank you to Robyn at Honda for responding promptly and personably. Special thanks to my dear friend Dr. Mark Patterson for bringing this matter to my attention and to Narcolepsy Network for leading the charge with me online.

In closing, please do not thank me for this. I’m not interested in credit, I’m interested in change. Please thank YOURSELVES and EACH OTHER for championing this cause together. I’m in awe of each person, around the world, who signed, shared, commented, tweeted, emailed & called Honda and contacted local media. One supporter spoke with a news reporter this morning who said she’d already heard from several people about the story. WOW, we rock! 

Reading your eloquent petition comments brought tears to my eyes – as PWNs, loved ones AND sleep professionals all raised our voices together to prove that humanity, kindness and dignity still DO exist. For every thoughtless joke and misguided comment, I know more than ever – I’M NOT ALONE!

View/Download Press Release

Read more:
PR Daily
RTSleepWorld Feature Story
International Business Review Article
Narcolepsy FAQs
Narcolepsy Fact Sheet


  1. delayed2sleep on June 24, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Too bad they removed the comment section below the original video; there were some really great comments (and, I think, just one flippant negative one). Yes, congratulations to us all. Good luck on your follow-up with Honda, Julie.

    • AaronBale on June 24, 2014 at 1:57 am

      Surely some PWN archived the comments? C’mon guys, we’re doing the ball here!

  2. butters on June 24, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Honda lied. The aid just aired during Iron Man on Spike TV

  3. Arnold Gendelman on June 25, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Hurray, Hazzah, Mozeltov, but….not just yet.
    Until Honda shuts it down world wide, it is spreading bad news for PWN.

  4. delayed2sleep on June 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Bad news. I don’t know if you, Julie, are a member of the Facebook page “Sleep Disorders Support and Advice”. A member there, who’s also a sleep tech, wrote about 7 hours ago: “WTH??!! I JUST SAW THE AD ON TV like A MIN AGO.”

    I’ve asked him to add some details: date, time, place, tv station and maybe the program it appeared in. If I get that info, I’ll let you know.

    • julie on June 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Yes please let me know. We are sending in all airing details to Honda to ensure they are removed.

      I’m in contact with Honda: “Julie, We have sent specific instructions across our network to not run Synth and Seattlieites. Unfortunately a few stations did not get the message in time. We have heard from folks directly and through social media and now have the ability to take specific action with the stations that did not pull the ad. Thank you and thanks to your team of folks who are able to be be our eyes and ears so that we can follow up with those who have not yet gotten the strong word about the ad. We have taken legal action against web sites that have taken our ad and are running it against our instructions and will reach out directly to TV networks today to ensure that this does not happen again. Again, none of this has occurred intentionally. We understand the sensitivity and are doing our best to communicate with all of our partners, agencies and networks ASAP.”

      I will continue pursuing this to ensure it is followed through on along with my educational offer to speak at Honda as a first step toward bridging this effort together with Honda. Thank you for catching the ads and supporting this effort!

      • delayed2sleep on June 26, 2014 at 7:58 am

        Hallo again.

        Re: my post above. He says it was just a minute before he posted, that is about 7 hours before my post above. He writes: “think it was home improvement channel, hgtv? house flippers show..”

        • delayed2sleep on June 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm

          And he adds (after I told him that you are grateful for the info): “Nice, if it makes any dif, i have TW cable and im in SoCal.”

  5. Arnold Gendelman on August 1, 2014 at 3:17 am
    Julie—-here’s another you might be interested in taking to task.
    Surfing for news today I caught this, researched it, found it and you got it.
    Where do these jackasses think they are going with slamming a disability?
    Love Ya

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