Fisher-Price customer service has been extra busy the past few days, after a fake photo of a Happy Hour playset (complete with kid-sized beer bottles and a neon martini-glass bar sign) with the company’s logo began circulating on social media.
Adam Padilla, owner of a New York City-based branding agency, created the controversial false ad using Photoshop and posted it to Instagram on December 5. “Whom wants this for Xmas?” Padilla, who is the father of 21-month-old daughter, captioned the pic, which shows three toddlers playing bartender and barfly. The ad for the fake toy set — for ages 3 and up — went viral the next day, after comedian Amiri King shared it with his 2 million Facebook followers.
The online backlash from concerned customers was swift. “Stupid toys. This is what happens when morals are gone and proper common sense is missing. Political correctness created this,” wrote one person, while another tweeted at the toy company: “Ur standards & morals have disappeared. This is Horrible 4&of U to GUIDE our babies in this direction.”
Fisher-Price has been responding to each customer’s concerns on Facebook, assuring them that “this product is not endorsed, produced or approved by Fisher-Price.” Amber Pietrobono, public relations manager for the company, told CBS News: “As a premiere childhood development company focused on helping families get the best possible start in life, we take our role in developing toys and products very seriously, but can appreciate the recent product development suggestions as obvious love of the brand.”
The controversy came after Saturday Night Live aired a parody ad for a Fisher-Price line geared to ‘Sensitive Boys’ on December 3.
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