After objections came in from parents of children with autism, FMCG giant Colgate didn’t just have to apologise but also pull off an advertisement in which they referred to as ‘troubled’.
Duncan Casburn put up his objections on the issue in a video on his YouTube channel PDA dad UK. Through his channel, he has been sharing his experiences of parenting his ten-year-old daughter Sienna who has pathological demand avoidance (PDA), a rare form of autism.
In the video, Casburn pointed out that an ad labels a teacher who works with children with special needs as a ‘teacher for troubled kids’. “Just because someone has special educational needs, doesn’t make them ‘troubled’. Special needs don’t mean the children are unhappy or miserable. The ad painted all kids he works within this light,” he pointed out in the video.
The objections were also raised by several other parents of children with special needs on social media, and the video reached Colgate. The company reached out to Casburn, apologising for the misrepresentation, and telling him that the ad had been pulled off from television.
In a subsequent video a week after the first, Casburn was all praise for the promptness shown by Colgate in response to his objections. They released the ad again with a rephrased description of the teacher. The company also invited him to interview Patricia Verduin, Head of Research and Development for Colgate.