Party City is Gross
Party City is gross, not us. I have thick skin and normally don’t let the little things bother me. The recent Party City commercial really disappoints me for several reasons. I have been a loyal customer of theirs for years. Birthdays, invitations, parties and Halloween are just a short list of why I went into their doors. Can you imagine how many people within their organization signed off on this? From the concept, script, storyboard, post production etc. What an epic fail! “Party City, you are dead to me.” I will be taking all my shopping online using Amazon. Look at Amazon’s Party Supplies, all the same stuff, minus the snarky remarks about my family’s disease. Party City is gross.
Her is a great article from Self Magazine with insightful comments from Marilyn Green
Party City Pulls Controversial Ad Calling Gluten-Free People ‘Gross’
Party City’s 2018 Super Bowl spot is nabbing tons of attention—but for all the wrong reasons. The party supply store is facing a big backlash this week for a new commercial in which somebody who doesn’t eat gluten is called “gross.”
The ad for Food Network star Sunny Anderson’s inflatable stadium-shaped cooler, which has since been wiped from the web, features two women prepping for a game day party. “Those are some gluten-free options,” the first woman says, per People, about a small plate of snacks set off to the side of the main spread. “Do we even know people that are like that?” the second asks. “Tina,” the first woman replies, to which the other woman says, “Oh, gross, yeah.” Oh. Gross. Yeah.
The ad was swiftly and widely bashed for making fun of people suffering from celiac disease, who cannot eat gluten for medical reasons.
A sample of the criticism: “your new ad mocking people who eat gluten free is inconsiderate and wrong at best. My celiac disease is not your punchline.” Another tweet read, “I have multiple family members with this disease. They already face daily battles with friends that don’t understand the affects [sic] of it.”
Party City pulled the ad from their website, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, and issued an apology on Monday. “We recognize that we made an error in judgment by running the recent Big Game commercial, which was insensitive to people with food allergies and autoimmune diseases,” Party City told SELF in a statement, “and sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused.” They also clarified that Anderson (who, as one fan pointed out, has ulcerative colitis and therefore understands the complexities of maintaining gut health) was not involved in the production of the commercial.
The brand vowed to review their internal ad vetting process and make donations to the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) and Beyond Celiac, the patient advocacy foundation that helped activate the online campaign to have the ad taken down.
Now, anyone tempted to write the outcry off as another case of The Internet Getting Its Panties In A Bunch should reconsider. “People with celiac should be very offended by that ad.” Peter H.R. Green, M.D., director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center, tells SELF. “It’s not a trivial condition.” Beyond Celiac CEO Alice Bast agrees, telling SELF, “This is exactly what’s not understood about our community: It’s a serious autoimmune disease. It’s not a joke.”
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system is abnormally sensitive to the protein gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley.
There are also potential medical consequences to the stigma surrounding gluten-free eating, namely the pressure to ingest food with gluten or downplay the condition altogether to avoid being labelled overly sensitive. “The fact that it’s become a national joke [could be] contributing to people not wanting to be ‘out’ about their celiac disease,” Geller explains. “If somebody pushes something on you—they baked cookies or pie and they really want you to try a bite—sometimes people cave to the social pressure to ‘just have a taste.’” That innocent little bite could induce an immune reaction severe enough to wreck the rest of their day. Geller also worries that people may put it off instead of getting those worrisome symptoms checked out, a real concern given that research suggests the disease is seriously under diagnosed.
All of this is why it’s important to have these conversations when things like the Party City ad do crop up. And there is at least one positive, tangible upshot to the debacle. Beyond Celiac and CDF plan to put the money Party City pledged towards research that will help scientists better understand the condition and improve the lives of people with celiac disease. “We want to take the funding to advance research into early diagnosis, look into alternative therapies, and advocate for our community,” Bast says, “and to increase awareness—help make sure this kind of thing never happens again.”
Source: Self Magazine
Party City is Gross Disclosure.
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