JC Penny offended customers who thought a recent ad by the superstore promoted bullying and put down parents who can’t afford to buy “cool” clothes for their kids.
The ad, which includes a voice-over from a “mom” saying that “(clothes) can make or break your entire year,” garnered protests from dozens of parents on JC Penny’s Facebook page, according to CNN.
The ad showed a boy sitting alone at a lunch table as the mom talked about how “uncool” clothes and supplies could “break” a kid’s school year, according to MSN Now.
"On behalf of all the families struggling to pay rent/mortgage, your ad sends a terrible message," Liz Hannity posted on the Facebook page. "You are saying their kids will have a horrible year if their families can't afford to buy them the cool clothes."
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Some parents voiced concern that the ad promoted bullying and pressured children to care more about what merchandise would make them socially acceptable.
"Every day kids are made fun of [for] what they do or do not have...and your ad has just added one more thing that a child can be bullied about," another person named JoAnn Robertson wrote.
Some customers said they would stop shopping at JC Penny because of the ad.
The superstore has stopped running the ad and said that it did not intend to “trivialize or promote bullying” in it.
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JC Penny’s stock dropped 27 percent this past month, and the company currently lacks a permanent CEO.