‘Short Bus’ Ad Prompts Outrage
A car dealer is apologizing after airing an advertisement featuring a derogatory reference to special education that angered many parents of kids with disabilities.
The radio ad for Cole Chevrolet in Pocatello, Idaho hyped the dealer’s truck offerings by asking listeners, “Are you driving a wimpy truck? Do your kids take the short bus so they won’t be seen in it?”
The local radio spot prompted calls to the car dealer from numerous parents of children with special needs who said they were offended by the disparaging reference to special education.
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Subsequently, Cole Chevrolet pulled the commercial off the air and, in an effort to make good on their faux pas, the dealer has made a donation to the local Special Olympics and plans to partner with the group to produce public service announcements.
“It totally didn’t even cross our minds that this would connect with the special needs children and that’s the last thing in the world that we’d ever want it to do,” the marketing director responsible for the ads told KIDK, the CBS affiliate in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “We just hope everyone understands it was a mistake, it’s been taken care of and we’re definitely sorry.”