pearl izumi dead dog ad

Running shoe maker Pearl Izumi thought they’d be cute with a new ad campaign showing that you could run your dog into the ground with their new running shoes but all they did is piss off a bunch of dog lovers.  It didn’t take long for them to realize their error…

“Our approach was humorous, and some people didn’t see it that way,” said Geoff Shaffer, global marketing director at Pearl Izumi.  “There were clearly some people offended by it.”

The print ad says in part:

“This undeniable smoothness translates into less work for your legs, so you get into your zone faster and feel like you could stay there forever. Sure not everyone will appreciate your increased efficiency, but, ironically, not everyone was born to.”

Dog and animal lovers are a breed unto themselves and for us, there is no amusement in an ad campaign like this… showing “man’s best friend,” our beloved canine companions, as “dead” props.

“When I saw the ad, I believed they were trying to say the dog was dead. That was horrifying to me,” said Julie Mierau, co-owner of a bed-and-breakfast in Omaha, Neb. “It’s offensive to me as a dog lover … that the message is these shoes will make you run so hard you’ll kill your dog.”

When the company realized that magnitude of the mistake the made, they pulled the ad and issued an apology on Facebook.

Pearl Izumi apologized on Facebook yesterday for publishing an ad in Canadian Running Magazinethat featured a dog lying motionless on a trail as its owner tried to resuscitate it.

Social media users offered suggestions as how the company could make amends and show they were truly apologetic, such as donating to shelter or rescue groups, but the company doesn’t plan to do anything like that.  In fact it seems they really don’t understand the reaction at all…

“Most of us in the office have dogs, we run with our dogs and we were surprised by the reaction,” Shaffer said.

Well, they might not understand but I think we understand and like many who viewed the image, it disturbs me and I find it in very poor taste… to put it mildly!

So what do you think, poor and tasteless ad or overreaction by dog lovers?


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