Volvo’s TV-Ad Turtle Donated to World’s Oldest Sea Turtle Conservation Group

Date: January 19, 2001
Contact: David Godfrey
(352) 373-6441

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA– Volvo Cars of North America announced today it will donate the amazingly life-like sea turtle model used in a recent TV ad campaign to Caribbean Conservation Corporation, the world’s oldest sea turtle conservation group. The turtle, dubbed “Tia,” which stars in a television ad for Volvo’s Cross Country wagon, was hand-made by European artists at a cost of nearly $30,000 and is an exact replica of an endangered green turtle.

Volvo’s General Manager of the Florida Market, Chuck Wilberger, will present the turtle to CCC on Saturday, January 20, 2001, at an annual sea turtle conference to be held at Holland Hall, located in the University of Florida’s College of Law in Gainesville.

In the TV commercial, a Volvo-driving couple encounters the sea turtle on a stormy stretch of coastal highway, where it has apparently been washed up by high waves. Realizing the disoriented turtle needs help, the couple helps safely return the wayward reptile to the ocean.

Bob Austin, Volvo’s Director of Marketing Communications, said the turtle is so life-like and has stimulated such national appeal, that it is only fitting for it to be used by a premier sea turtle conservation group to raise awareness about these endangered animals.

“Volvo’s recent ad campaign draws attention to the company’s long-standing, sincere commitment to environmental responsibility and highlights the conservation ethics of many people who drive Volvos” said Austin. “We used the sea turtle, in particular because it reminds us of how Volvos serve as a “protective shell” around their occupants.”

Austin said Volvo chose to support CCC through this donation because of CCC’s leading role in sea turtle conservation. Founded in 1959 by the father of the sea turtle biology, Dr. Archie Carr, CCC helped discover much of what is known about sea turtles. More importantly, the organization is credited with having saved the Atlantic green turtle from imminent extinction. Today, CCC conducts research and education Programs in the U.S., especially in Florida, and throughout the wider Caribbean. CCC’s award-winning website ( hosts a popular education Program based on the satellite-tracked migration of sea turtles.

David Godfrey, CCC’s Executive Director, said his organization is thrilled with Volvo’s support for sea turtle conservation. Volvo is an industry leader in environmental protection, and CCC is proud to be associated with the company, he added.

“Tia the Turtle will be an extremely effective tool for raising awareness about sea turtles” Godfrey said. “It’s like having a pet green turtle to take around on presentations. Schoolchildren, especially, will get a real kick out of seeing this incredibly life-like turtle.”

The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Florida with offices and projects in several other locations. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world. Since its founding in 1959, the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s work has greatly improved the survival outlook for several species of sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has as its mission the protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. To achieve its mission, the Sea Turtle Conservancy uses research, habitat protection, public education, community outreach, networking and advocacy as its basic tools. These tools are applied in both international and domestic programs focusing on geographic areas that are globally important to sea turtle survival. For more information, visit the STC website or call (800) 678-7853.