Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Autistic Monster Ad Yanked

After two and a half weeks of bluster and increasingly frantic and contradictory excuses for its disgusting "Dan's Story" advertisement depicting an autistic boy as a monster, Action for Children has finally (well, sort of) pulled its head out of its hindquarters and faced up to the reality that an ad campaign defaming autistic people wasn't a plus for its public image. The television ad has been withdrawn in response to the firestorm of protest from the British and international autistic community.

As Mike Stanton observes, however, Action for Children still won't admit the obvious fact that this ignorant ad campaign was a colossal blunder. The charity is now trying to save face by pretending that yesterday was the ad's scheduled ending date, despite previous statements that it would run longer.

By way of comparison, the protest against NYU's Ransom Notes ads in December 2007 was met with similar denials and excuses before the ads were taken down two weeks into their run. But at least NYU issued a statement acknowledging that the ads were being withdrawn in response to the concerns of the community. Action for Children hasn't even bothered with the pretense of caring what our community thinks.

Many thanks to all the bloggers and activists who relentlessly pressed to end this ad campaign, including Socrates, Sharon, Mike Stanton, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Dora Raymaker, Bev, and many others. Great work, everyone!



Edit, February 10: A British marketing magazine has published an article on the controversy. Let's hope that ad agencies will learn the right lessons from this debacle and will know better than to create stereotyped and insulting portrayals of autism in the future.

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7 Comments:

  • The charity is now trying to save face by pretending that yesterday was the ad's scheduled ending date

    To anyone who believes that, I've got a bridge for sale. Anyone interested?

    By Blogger Timelord, at 4:45 AM  

  • The charity's website is still covered in Dan advertisments.

    One of the Monster Images is being used as a logo for their parliamentary lobbying campaign.

    The battle is still on and continues unabated.

    By Blogger Socrates, at 5:09 AM  

  • "The charity is now trying to save face by pretending that yesterday was the ad's scheduled ending date

    To anyone who believes that, I've got a bridge for sale. Anyone interested?"

    In addition, I have some property in Dump Water, Fl to sell as well.

    By Anonymous Cube Demon, at 1:55 PM  

  • We can but hope.
    Best wishes

    By Blogger Maddy, at 11:42 AM  

  • Good. We don't need negatives like that.

    By Blogger Thundaeagle, at 1:39 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction), at 8:32 AM  

  • not sure i trust AfC to not pull another stunt like that again!

    By Blogger David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction), at 8:33 AM  

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