When it comes to bad PR, the BackUp Shotgun Rack manufacturers take the gold medal. While any business has the right to advertise their products how they see fit, to use the pain and suffering of a family in shock is just downright immoral and disgusting. Yet this is exactly what the makers of the BackUp Shotgun Rack have done with their latest press release.
Using the tragic events over the weekend, Backup suggest that Hollywood actress Jennifer Hudson’s family may have still been alive had they possessed BackUp’s Shotgun Rack. I don’t want to use any of the phrases or suggestions used in the release, as the way that the whole angle is pitched is hugely insensitive, immoral and opportunistic.
What I will say is that if this is the depths that companies will sink to in order to make a profit, it’s a sad indictment on the human spirit. From a PR point of view, I’d have to question the PR team that thought this whole pitch would be a good idea to promote a product. From a business point of view, I’d have to question the morals of any company that feels it’s fair game to use such tragic circumstances to sell their goods.
I wonder if John Peters, the president of the BackUp Shotgun Rack company, would be so keen to issue such a press release if the tragic circumstances had befallen his own family? Somehow I doubt it.
If there’s any justice in this world, this pitch will get the negative reaction it deserves and see a sharp drop in custom for the company. Perhaps being hit in the pocket will be the only way to get through to the makers of the BackUp Shotgun Rack that profits should never come before humanity.
- Update October 29 2008 – After a slew of negative publicity, the press release has been updated to remove the majority of reference to Jennifer Hudson’s family. Due to the various comments here believing there is nothing wrong with the pitch, I can only assume they have read the new version. Therefore, while I wished to leave the details with John Peters’ company, I feel the original version should be reprinted (my thanks to Katja Presnal for the copy).
“COULD A BEDSIDE SHOTGUN RACK HAVE SAVED JENNIFER HUDSON’S FAMILY FROM TRAGIC DEATH?
Chicago, IL (MMD Newswire) October 28, 2008 — Tragedy strikes in a Chicago home leaving 3 people dead and an Oscar winner forced to identify the bodies of her family. Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother were gunned down in their home Friday. Could an invaluable device have saved their lives?
It’s called The BackUp and it is a bedside shotgun rack. Everyday, there are over 8,000 home invasions in America, many resulting in assault, rape, and murder. That’s according to a report by the US Department of Justice.
Whether it is someone known or a stranger entering the home, too many people in this country are paying with their lives during these home invasions. The Hudson family is just one of far too many Americans gunned down in their own home.
What can be done? Law enforcement and the government aren’t solving the problem. So law-abiding citizens are now forced to take their safety, security, and life into their own hands.
Shotguns are often weapons of choice at home because of their deterrent effect on assailants, their close-range stopping power, their affordability and their reduced risk of injury to innocent others from stray shot. But the problem is storing them in a place where you don’t have to turn your back on your assailant. Propped in the corner or under the bed takes valuable time to get to, and could cost you your life.
But now there is a solution. The BackUp makes them easily accessible during a time of need. Racked between the mattresses, The BackUp offers immediate access to the homeowner’s shotgun: in the hands, cocked and ready to defend in 2 seconds.
Home Security Expert Howard Pitts says, “A shotgun provides the most effective protection against home invasion. And The BackUp is a much safer and secure solution than having a shotgun in the corner or under the bed.” The BackUp is made in America and the adjustable 2-foot by 2-foot rack assembles in minutes.
- Update October 30 2008 – John Peters has responded to the widespread criticism through a forum for gun owners. He has also had the company website updated to “respond to world-wide media inquiries” following the furore over his press release. The fact that Peters used a gun owners forum instead of addressing the inquiries directly, and still doesn’t offer an apology on his website to the Hudson family, speaks volumes of his intentions when authorizing the release in the first place.
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