JC Penney, under fire for one of its back-to-school ads, has decided to remove it after relentless backlash from parents.
The retailer has run several spots for its First Day Look clothing campaign for kids, including one with a voiceover of a mom saying ‘I’ve been told that this stuff can make or break an entire year,’ The Huffington Post reports.
The child is shown surrounded by friends in one shot, and sitting alone at a lunch table in the next.
Some angry parents were so offended by the ad that they flooded the retailer’s Facebook page with complaints:
‘Your commercial is sad. You do realize that there are a LOT of poor families out there who can only afford clothes from the DI or Savers or other used clothes store right?’ Amanda Hunsaker wrote. ‘My family was one of them, and I still made plenty of friends regardless of what I was wearing.’
Other parents threatened to boycott the store until the ad was removed.
The company heard the complaints loud and clear and removed the ad saying: ‘Please know that our intent was never to trivialize or promote bullying. We certainly understand the seriousness and sensitivity around this issue, which is why we have been a strong supporter of anti-bullying efforts. This ad aired earlier this summer but is no longer part of our TV campaign.’
But not all parents were on the bullying bandwagon and came to the retailer’s defense, claiming the complaining parents are being overly sensitive:
‘I can’t believe the fuss over your back to school ad. This is political correctness run amok,’ Susan Brownfield wrote. ‘The bullying notion is just ridiculous reaching. I don’t see it. However, it does matter what kids wear. That is the unfortunate truth.’
Chris Olsen agreed. ‘Instead of babying your young ones, teach them to stand up for themselves, and not take offense when another disagrees with them, and lastly teach them to defend themselves,’ he wrote in response to one angry parent. ‘Stop being overly sensitive and reading into things that don’t exist.’
And finally, TV host, Charlie Berens, of Nightcap had this to say: “Let’s not bully J.C. Penney for something they probably didn’t intend to do. I have a better idea. Let’s bully them for making really cheesy back-to-school ads.”
Undoubtedly bullying is a devastating event in any child’s life but are these parents crying wolf once too often? Kids who bully don’t really need a JC Penney advertisement to tell them to do so.
What do you think?
(Sources: The Huffington Post, Daily Mail)
- JC Penny causes flap over back-to-school ad (fox2now.com)
- Do back-to-school shopping ads promote bullying among kids? (pix11.com)
- Is JC Penny a Bully? (caheroclub.wordpress.com)