(WCMH) – Party supply chain Party City is getting hammered on social media after one of the company’s commercials got the attention people with celiac disease.
The commercial features two people in a room seemingly decorated and ready for the Super Bowl. There is a large snack table to the right and a stool with a single plate to the left.
“Those are some gluten-free options,” says one of the women in the commercial.
“Do we even know people that are like that?” responded the other woman.
“Tina,” the first woman responded.
“Oh, gross, yeah,” the second woman says.
The gluten-free blog ‘Gluten Dude’ shared a clip of the commercial Monday afternoon along with a lengthy post decrying its effect on people living with celiac disease.
The commercial has been spreading through our awesome community today. So much so that Party City has removed the video from You Tube (luckily I recorded a copy just in case). And they may have even pulled the ad (yay us). But the damage has already been done as it’s been on the air for some time now. Yes…it’s even on Nickelodeon. A mom with a celiac daughter has seen it three times and both of them are angry and upset. As if bullying kids with food allergies isn’t bad enough, Party City just piles on because…you know…it’s funny.
Party City’s Facebook page is now flooded with comments from people outraged by the commercial.
“When my baby girl turns on the TV to watch her favorite show on Nickelodeon, a kids network, and sees a commercial mocking her and calling her “gross” … I CANT EVEN … Who in the hell thought this was a good idea?” said Kathryn Christian
“This is the kind of insensitive campaign that has been the downfall of many companies in the past. You’d think that a company such as yours that is supposed to cater to EVERYONE would have a little more common sense. You may want to find a new ad agency. Nothing short of a public apology will fix this,” said Heather Niles.
“My daughters birthday is in two weeks and we were planning on doing all of her party shopping at party city. Until I saw your ad. We will be shopping elsewhere and I will never step foot in one of your stores ever again. You owe the entire celiac community a huge apology!” said Kerry Swan Diener.
Party City released the following statement regarding the ad:
Party City takes our customers’ feedback and concerns extremely seriously. We recognize that we made an error in judgment by running the recent Big Game commercial, which was insensitive to people with food allergies. We have removed the commercial from our site and all other channels, and sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused. We will also be reviewing our internal vetting process on all advertising content to avoid any future issues. In addition, Party City will be making a donation in support of Celiac Disease research. Again, we apologize for this error, and thank our customers for their feedback on the matter.”