Saturday, April 5, 2014

It Happened Again

Another company mocked someone by using an image of a man, Ernest Gagnon, who, through his cycling and diet efforts, has lost over 200 pounds. The man's image was used without his consent in an ad by a company called Boombotix, so the company is lucky the guy didn't turn around and sue them.

Here's Ernest's original story on NPR:

And here's the ad that was reposted by Boombotix on facebook. I got this from Ernest's facebook page:

Unlike Self magazine, though, this company is trying to do the right thing after their mistake and, rather than offer a phony apology, the CEO both publicly and privately issued a sincere one, took responsibility, Made a donation, got involved and made sure that everyone knew he and the people in his company were doing all they could to support Ernest. He also admitted that something like this shouldn't have happened in the first place. He's right. Publicly mocking people is wrong. There's no question about it, but, as I mentioned in a previous post, it seems to happen a lot these days.

Below is the CEO's response, and he went on to say that the company would do all they could to offer Ernest sponsorship money for traveling and competing in his bike races. That's a step in the right direction.

Hey guys, on behalf of Boombotix, I would like to personally apologize for this. This ad has been removed and the designer behind this campaign has been sternly reprimanded. As the CEO, I was truly disgusted when I saw this ad and I'm sorry that you guys had see it. We will take this misstep and certainly learn from it.

Occasionally, action can be taken to help rectify a wrong. Still, the hurt will probably linger. It's not really true that saying about sticks and stones. Words do hurt, and the hurt lasts. Let's hope that companies are starting to become more aware of the backlash that occurs when efforts are made to belittle and ridicule others.

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