Business, Products

The story behind the anti-vaccination funeral home campaign hoax

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Last weekend people in Charlotte, North Carolina, had the opportunity to see a truck drive around the area with this message on the sides and rear, “Don’t get vaccinated: Wilmore Funeral Home“.  According to this article from CNet, the truck sparked a viral buzz.

Turns out that there is no Wilmore Funeral Home and if you hit the advertised web-site, www.wilmorefuneralhome.com, here’s where you would land.  It’s actually a web-site promoting getting a Covid-19 vaccination. . . . the exact opposite of what the truck, and purported funeral home, seem to be saying.

We now know that there is no Wilmore Funeral Home and that the truck was part of a campaign by the BooneOakley Advertising Agency to promote Covid-19 vaccinations.  According to an agency representative, “The idea came about when we thought about who would really benefit from people not getting the shot.  And you kind of go back to the simple fact that people are dying that aren’t vaccinated, so who benefits from people dying? A funeral home!” 

The name “Wilmore” actually came from the neighborhood that BooneOakley is located.

Funeral Director Daily take:  I don’t really know what to think of this advertising prank.  On one hand, I have a good sense of humor and I enjoy comedy and satire in the Geico and Progressive insurance ads that are so frequently seen on television.  On the other hand, I’m a consummate professional in the funeral business and I take our profession seriously.  I’m wondering if an ad campaign like this damages our credibility because at the end of the day we are in a real serious business — one that honors our loved ones and tries to bring those suffering loss from grief to remembrance.

I believe that “image” is not only important to a specific funeral home, but to our profession in general.

Many funeral homes do have billboards that say things such as “Drive safe, we can wait”.  My jury is still out on those ads too, but at least, most people agree with saving lives via safe and sober driving.  The vaccine debate is very divisive in America right now and the truck anti-vax campaign just seems to be pouring fuel on the fire.

So, I don’t know what to think about this incident. . . . .I’m guessing that this truck driving around Charlotte with its message is not positive public relations to our profession. . . . maybe the best thing about it is that it is over.

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