Target: Geoff Shaffer, Global Marketing Director for Pearl Izumi
Goal: Thank company for its apology and donations in response to its offensive advertisement
Running shoe company Pearl Izumi recently showed a shocking advertisement in a Canadian magazine. The ad depicted a runner attempting to resuscitate his dead dog, the goal being to convince consumers that the shoes would make you run so fast even your dog couldn’t keep up. The advertisement received much negative publicity; Pearl Izumi was remorseful and apologetic for its unintentionally insensitive advertisement.
Many people who viewed the advertisement were very offended; their reasons make sense, and were addressed. Dogs are extremely loyal animals, and will literally run themselves to death to keep up with you. Many people have lost their dogs from overexertion, and the advertisement was poking fun at a very serious issue. The individuals in the company responsible for the advertisement were shocked at the reaction it caused. The creators thought the advertisement was a humorous way to sell their shoes, and meant no disrespect.
The company issued a formal apology on Facebook, acknowledging that it made a mistake. The company also donated 10,000 dollars to the Boulder Valley Humane Society and pulled its offensive advertisement. It is clear that the company did not intentionally offend any dog lovers. Many of the employees at Pearl Izumi noted that they have dogs at home, and would never poke fun at their pain and suffering. While there will still be consumers who are angry, it is safe to say that the company deserves to be forgiven. Applaud Pearl Izumi for responding compassionately to consumers and pulling their offensive advertisement.
Dear Geoff Shaffer, Global Marketing Director of Pearl Izumi,
Recently, Pearl Izumi has been under heavy scrutiny for its advertisement in a Canadian magazine. The advertisement was of a runner attempting to resuscitate his dead dog; the dog collapsed because it was not able to keep up with his human, due to the good running shoes the man had on. Many people were outraged with the ad, claiming that a dog dying from overexertion is no laughing manner.
While your employees understood the reasons for the consumer reaction, it apparently came as a shock. Your advertisement was meant in good humor; the subject is no laughing matter, but you were sure to promptly correct the issue by apologizing and giving a generous donation to a humane shelter. Your public apology was appreciated and heartfelt. It is understood that many of your employees have dogs at home, and would be devastated if their pets fell victim to overexertion.
Thank you for understanding the serious nature of your advertisement and reacting appropriately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Michel Bakkenes via Flickr