internet marketing The Big Sis Diaries: Reprimanding the World of Negative Adoption Comments, One Big Company at a Time

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reprimanding the World of Negative Adoption Comments, One Big Company at a Time

Everyone who is adopting/has adopted knows that there are just some things you can't say to someone who is adopting/has adopted. However, a lot of the world generally does not understand the line drawn between "okay" and "not okay." Hallmark recently issued a radio ad in which they included a phrase about why someone would choose adoption. Their wording was, at best, not great. While my family is not usually too touchy about this type of thing, my mom felt that on behalf of adopters everywhere, she should let Hallmark know that what they said on their commercial could potentially be offensive to adopters- and adoptees- and that they really should be careful about what they broadcast on the radio and who their audience is.

Here is her e-mail:

Dear Hallmark:

I must object to the wording used in one of your radio ads. I believe the piece is meant to promote a line of cards that suit "today's" lifestyle and address situations which are less traditional than, say, birthdays and anniversaries.

In the ad, you have a woman speaking a line about adoption, saying something like: "We couldn't have one our own, so when that didn't work, we decided to adopt." I have two problems with this. First, an adopted child is, indeed, one's own, and second, this phrasing makes a choice for adoption seem second best.

While many people do adopt as a result of infertility, I'm not sure many adoptive parents would explain their situation the way you have in the ad, namely, "when that didn't work out...." I wouldn't want my adopted child to hear that phrase as an explanation of how she became a member of our family! And, again, our adopted child is definitely one of our own!!


Mother to three bio children and one adopted child (No fertility problems involved!)

And they replied with:

Thank you for letting us know how you feel about the adoption comment you recently heard in one of our radio commercials for our new line of Journey cards. Your comments have caused us to revisit that ad and as a result we have pulled it from the series of commercials. It is never our intent to offend anyone and we appreciate your bringing this perspective to our attention. We hope that you will visit a Gold Crown store to see the actual cards which we hope you will find helpful in encouraging others.We appreciate your taking the time to let us know your feelings.
Hallmark Consumer Care

We were shocked and thrilled by the fact that Hallmark decided to pull the bad ad from their radio commercial series! Of course, that's how it should be, but it's rare that such a large company takes to heart customer complaints and acts on them. As a result, we've decided NOT to boycott Halmark, as we originally had planned ;-)


At 5:30 PM , Blogger 5KidMom said...

Yippee, Susy Q's Mom!!! Kudos to you for taking a stand for all the rest of us. Great work!

At 12:11 PM , Blogger DeAnna said...

WOW!! I've never heard that ad, but I'm glad your mom confronted them about it. And I'm pleasantly surprised they responded in such a manner. I feel like going right out to Hallmark and buying cards. :)

At 5:14 PM , Anonymous dawn said...

Yep, I'll consider Hallmark first in the card isle from now on.

Good for you!


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