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Poor taste? Using CKD's accident story in helmet sale advertisement

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  • Poor taste? Using CKD's accident story in helmet sale advertisement

    I don't want to link to the advertisement here because I don't want to violate the board's advertising policies. I will try to explain it as best I can.

    On a local horsey web site, a tack store is advertising a helmet sale. The advertisement has a little blurb urging people to wear helmets off to the side. In the blurb it mentions how Courtney King-Dye had a "simple fall" with "horrific results" and that CKD did not have a helmet on at the time. Then it links to her web site and asks everyone to keep CKD in their prayers.

    Am I overly sensitive in thinking this is in EXTREMELY poor taste? I am sure that horse professionals are also very upset about CKD's accident and want her to heal... but I think mentioning her accident (and the fact that she wasn't wearing a helmet) alongside an ad for a helmet sale is in extremely poor taste. I understand wanting to ask for prayers for CKD, etc. I don't, however, think it was appropriate to do so next to a helmet ad. I am open to the idea that others might disagree. Thoughts?

  • #2
    Yes I think you are being overly sensitive. People are wanting manufacturers to donate to Courtney and if that is Ok I think based on how you explained it what they are doing seems OK.
    Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama


    • Original Poster

      I see your point. And it will drive more people to her web site (people who will hopefully donate).

      There is nothing in the advertisement that says that money is being donated by the store to CKD, though. If they were donating the proceeds or a part of the proceeds, I'd have NO problem with it. However, the ad does not suggest that at all. It's just an ad that says that a helmet is better than a trip to the trauma ward or a coma. (Yes, the ad says that.)


      • #4
        Originally posted by half seat View Post
        There is nothing in the advertisement that says that money is being donated to CKD. IF they were donating the proceeds or a part of the proceeds, I'd have NO problem with it. However, the ad does not suggest that AT ALL. It's just an ad that says that a helmet is better than a trip to the trauma ward or a coma. (Yes, the ad says that.)
        No I was just saying people were thinking the helmet companies should donate and some could say WHY? I don't think either is offensive and what they are saying is true. People know about Courtney in the dressage world but many in other disciplines do not know and if it can wake people up I say good.
        Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama


        • #5
          I think that is offensive and that they are trying to capatilize on this event


          • #6
            Without Courtneys ability to chime in with her wants on the matter, Id say yes, its early, tacky, and let us all remember that to her family this is new and scary no matter how OLD the news gets to us.

            My grandfather was very famous in his sport, and when he had his first accident and walked away from it there were all kinds of people using his "recovery" as an ad for the safety equipment used.

            The next accident, IT failed, and he passed away when I was ten Nobody had an ad then, that said, OOPs, actually it cant save you when the accident is bad enough.

            Helmets are not miracles in a hat box, they protect as much as they can, BUT from what others have said about this type of injury, it CAN happen with a helmet as well.
            ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


            • #7
              What I think is in poor taste is people thinking helmet companies should make donations, as opposed to choosing to make them. I think the tack store is doing what we see done each and every day, whether it is air conditioners during a long hot summer, Honda and others slashing their prices to try and grab buyers who won't go near Toyotas, etc. I'm sure to be flamed, but I think it is great marketing.


              • #8
                I agree, its marketing and nothing more. "taste" doesn't come into it anywhere.
                Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                • #9
                  It's just marketing. Nothing new or different.

                  I personally find this type of marketing in poor taste.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    I think intention is a huge factor here though. They could just be making a quick buck (in which case it's very distasteful), or perhaps the store owner is genuinely hoping to inspire a few customers to use a helmet when they have not up to this point.


                    • #11
                      I think it's extremely distasteful and I would think twice before buying anything from that tack store again. CKD is still fighting for her self and this place is trying to make money off of her accident? Appalling.


                      • #12
                        Not poor taste. If her accident helps one person not suffer her terrible injury by them buying and wearing a helmet...her accident wasn't in vain.

                        If the helmet company said, "If she'd been wearing OUR helmet"...yep, I think that'd be in poor taste. If they said, "If she'd been wearing A helmet"...not in poor taste.
                        "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                        • #13
                          Without seeing the real ad its hard to say. It sounds as if they were just saying on the side that wearing a helmet could help with accidents like this and if thats the case then I don't believe its in poor taste and makes since. If this accident can be brought to light and help others see the importance in wearing a helmet then thats great. Now if they are saying you need to buy our helmet because looked what happened and "OUR" helmet is the best to prevent this is another story then they are using it to sell their product, but to say buy a helmet because it can help prevent injury like this and is very important then I'm fine with that. JMO
                          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                          • #14
                            Having been someone with a TBI as the result of a nasty Humpty Dumpty fall when not wearing my helmet, I can honestly say that if the tack store that was then at our equestrian center had put up a sign saying "Coreene didn't wear a helmet - ours are on sale to make sure you will," I'd have been all for it.


                            • #15
                              Outrageous theft of Commercial property

                              I think that CKD has a viable lawsuit against them for using her name/likeness in an advertisement to sell their product without her permission and without remuneration.

                              Athletes get paid big bucks for promoting products. An athlete's name and photo are valuable commodities. They also have some control over the products that they choose to endorse and how their image is depicted in those ads. (Do you think that a condom manufacturer could get away with using a photo or name of John Edwards in connection with their products without his permission?)

                              I hope that if Courtney's legal representative is informed of this that they take immediate action to get whoever is missappropriating her name and likeness to cease and desist immediately and that they be required to pay money damages to her.

                              For you non-lawyers out there-

                              Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Mar. 22, 2010, 12:54 PM. Reason: add link
                              "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                              • #16
                                I would also point out that your average horse person probably doesn't know about her accident.

                                I am sure there is a spike in helmet purchases. Remember, the tack shop could also use the opportunity to tack an extra $5 on to every price. I don't think a sale is in bad taste at all.
                                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                                • #17
                                  I don't think what the OP describes is in poor taste, any more than some of the posts on this BB that have commented about the presence or absence of a helmet in CKD's situation.

                                  I do think some of the extrapolations that people have assumed are real or implied *would* be in poor taste--i.e., blatantly making $$ off of CKD's situation. But what the OP describes, which is simply informing people, with a real example, of what can happen without a helmet, and then asking for good wishes for CKD--that alone, is not.
                                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                  Spay and neuter. Please.


                                  • #18
                                    Whether it's in bad taste or not is a matter of opinion. But they can be sued, unless they got her permission to use her name and web site as part of an ad for their products.

                                    ETA -- EH, great minds. I don't have a citation to prove it. I've just been in advertising long enough to know better than to do that.
                                    Last edited by mp; Mar. 22, 2010, 01:00 PM. Reason: correction
                                    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                    the best day in ten years,
                                    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


                                    • #19
                                      A lot of you are getting very close to saying "if the accident gets people to wear helmets, it's worth it and wasn't in vain". Pretty strident stuff. I wish CKD the very best and wish this had never happened to her--this accident will never be "worth it"--whether some of us reconsider helmet use at times or not. Whether we all are now forced to wear helmets at shows or not.


                                      • #20
                                        I think it depends on how it is done. If it is used in a "it can happen to anyone, so we're putting our helmets on sale to encourage you to protect yourself" kind of way, then I don't think it's in poor taste.

                                        And I don't think people are saying that the accident is worth it if more people start wearing helmets. I think it's a natural response for people to try to find some good from a tragedy. It doesn't lessen what happened to CKD, and I'm sure everyone wants her to make a speedy and full recovery. I think it's normal for people to hope that, if this had to happen, it can help save others from similar injury.

                                        In other words, no one hopes someone will suffer a brain injury. But, if it happens, people hope some good comes from it.
                                        exploring the relationship between horse and human