I contacted Booking.com about its offensive ad. The response I got was right up there with John Riggins telling Sandra Day O’Connor to “loosen up, Sandy baby.”
Teachers should be (pick one):
A. Ridiculed as buffoons.
B. Appreciated as professionals.
Some rebellious adolescents might have trouble with picking “B” as the correct answer.
You’d expect a company with a faux-classy foreign accent on its answering machine to get it right.
But Booking.com doesn’t get it.
Months after being asked to stop by a kindergarten teacher — and thousands of petition signers, the company continues using an offensive ad that shows a teacher dreaming her vacation as kids run amok.
The ad is not about a hard-working professional who needs a break.
Instead, it shows a woman who is utterly disinterested in the actions of students, which include tying a child in a chair, sitting in an aquarium, swinging things, throwing things and behaving in ways that could easily cause injury.
“It’s a slap in the face toward teachers,” says Chantal Kawecki, a public-school kindergarten teacher in North Carolina who launched a change.org petition in May.
Is it really just ‘light-hearted fun?’
That was after she emailed her complaint to the company and received a reply that amounted to take a chill pill.
“We’ll be sure to pass it on to those relevant,” the response by email from Booking.com told her. It characterized the ad as “a light-hearted bit of fun.”
I got a similar response.
After several days of trying to talk to someone at Booking.com, a public relations firm representing the company emailed to say: “Unfortunately I’m unable to find someone to speak with you but I have been provided with a comment to share.”
The comment to share?
“We highly value and appreciate all professions, including teachers. Our ad is only intended as a bit of fun about overworked and undervalued professionals and the importance of vacations in a lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek manner.”
On the Inappropriate Comment Meter, that scores right up there with former Washington football star John Riggins telling then-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to “loosen up, Sandy baby.”
The ad was a mistake. But the company is unconcerned about criticism, which says a lot about how teaching…