WINTER PARK, FL – Shocked, angered and saddened are the first reactions to a new AT&T advertisement that has been running on broadcast television and on social media. The ad promotes the worst stereotypes of an industry that provides safe family entertainment throughout the United States and around the world, and clearly conflicts with AT&T's stated claim that its corporate values promote: “Doing the right thing.”
“The staged scene purports to show a carnival amusement ride, and suggests that our industry employs careless workers, operates decrepit rides, is unconcerned about ride safety and simply leaves town if someone is injured,” said Greg Chiecko, president of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association. “Experts who have viewed the ride say it was intentionally doctored by the ad producers to make it appear to be unsafe.
“AT&T executives and the advertising agency that created this ad owe an apology to the hard-working men and women who make up our industry and provide safe family entertainment throughout the United States to tens of millions of people each year,” said Chiecko. “Ride safety is our industry's highest priority. Amusement rides meet tough international standards and ride safety is heavily regulated. The ride shown in the AT&T ad would never have passed one of the many state inspections our rides receive each year, and would not have been allowed to operate in the condition shown.
“AT&T's corporate values say that ‘when we make a mistake, we have the character and courage to make it right and learn from it,'” said Chiecko. “Many of our members are AT&T customers and the company owes them an apology and a promise to pull this offensive inaccurate ad.
“OABA represents more than 2,500 members, 200 carnivals, 15 circuses and hundreds of traveling food/game concessionaires in the United States,” said Chiecko. “The vast majority of our members are small, family businesses with many in their second and third generation of ownership. Other organizations associated with our industry have also expressed their concern and dismay at this type of misleading negative advertising.”
A clip of the video can be found below: