For those of you who have been following my ongoing concern that Jack in the Box continues to promote itself as the stoners’ drive-thru restaurant of choice, I recently received an update from someone involved in the campaign to get the company to be more responsible in its advertising. The letter is reprinted here with permission:
Hello, Ms. Weinreich.
We, Health Advocates Rejecting Marijuana, wanted to follow up on your Spare Change blog regarding what has become our ongoing saga of San Diego-based fast-food chain, Jack in the Box and its refusal to address our concerns about a nation-wide commercial depicting a young man stoned at the wheel and making public a more socially responsible advertising policy.
On March 22, HARM, a San Diego County-wide collaborative of public health preventionists, parents, educators, students, and law enforcement agencies, did approach the corporation with more than 2,000 personally-addressed postcards to no avail. They issued a statement that didn’t address our concerns– same as ignoring us, basically. We are re-strategizing for a new “Jack Attack” plan that includes a letter to the editor in our San Diego County paper, individual personal visits to the corporate headquarters where we leave our business cards, and more follow up with their Board of Directors. It’s a moot point that the commercial is now longer airing because their ad time expired.
We would still like to partner with Jack in the Box to develop, adopt, and make public a more socially responsible policy guiding future nationwide advertising decisions that will not target our youth with messages that trivialize drug use, nor glamorize drug use as humorous and entertaining. Our collective goal is to reduce the problems associated with the use of marijuana, especially by youth, by changing community norms and perception of its harm.
Health Advocates Rejecting Marijuana (HARM)
760-407-1220, Ext. 143
Jack in the Box management has not shown any interest in listening to the concerns of the health and public safety organizations represented by HARM. If you agree with me that a commercial depicting someone driving while stoned is socially irresponsible, please send a message to Jack in the Box via the online comment form or call the CEO, Linda Lang, at (858) 571-2121 to urge the management and Board of Directors to at least meet with the organizations represented by HARM to hear their concerns. This issue is much larger than San Diego County, and perhaps some national pressure will make a difference. Please help me spread the word via email and blogs to get Jack in the Box to take some responsibility for the effects of its advertising.
Photo Credit: Roadsidepictures
Technorati Tags: jack in the box, marketing, advertising
I completely agree with you on the subject of Jack in the Box’s socially irresponsible advertisements. As a major corporation, it’s not responsible (nor is it sensible) to promote drug use as humorous or entertaining. Personally, I think that corporate social responsibility is very important to the reputation of a company. If their reputation is affected negatively, their sales can be affected as well. In my mind, making an effort to help the environment, factory conditions, employee morale, etc, can completely turn around a company’s reputation.
Every time I get an invite from friends to take a quick trip to Wal-Mart, I decline. I decline because of their reputation and the way they treat their employees. In this case, I think many people would support my choice.
On the other hand, Wal-Mart is still a thriving, multi-million dollar company. So unfortunately, not all socially irresponsible companies are hurt by their irresponsible actions. Petitions, lawsuits and activist groups ganging up on such corporate giants can only do so much. How on earth can we fix this problem?
You guys are all nuts. The commercial was funny. You have entirely too much time on your hands. Get a life…AND a sense of humor.
Why inflict your views on everybody else? Everyone doesn’t think like you do. Jack in the Box’s advertising is ingenious. STFU–shut the **** up
Luckily, most people don’t think like you do and are able to engage in a civil conversation. JITB has the right to “inflict its views” on television viewers, just as HARM has a right to try to mitigate the potential damage caused by attempting to persuade the company to become more socially responsible. I have no problem with most of JITB’s very funny ads, but this one crossed the line.
I think some people just get a life and enjoy the fact that a company wants to appear fun loving and take an edgy difference. It’s kind of cool.