If you were driving down the avenue and saw a billboard with a big margarita on it that read, “We’re like a cult with better Kool-Aid,” and “To die for!” written over the drink, wouldn’t you (depending on your age) immediately think of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple massacre and suicide in the 1970’s? If you didn’t, you wouldn’t even get the joke and the ad wouldn’t make sense to you. But, that frosty glass and talk of Kool-Aid might have you running over there.
The ad is totally insensitive to the families and memories of all who remember the horrific images of hundreds of people–including children–laying everywhere on the compound of the People’s Temple dead from a cyanide laced concoction that Jim Jones promised would deliver his flock. Maybe he wasn’t clear on where they would be going, but he certainly got nearly a thousand people to drink the grape-flavored drink.
One woman was not amused by the reference. In fact, she was repulsed by the ad and expressed her outrage to the management of the Hacienda restaurants. Within two weeks, the ad had been dismantled and the company vice president of sales and marketing at Hacienda, Jeff Leslie, made a statement for the South Bend-based company saying, “Our role is not to be controversial or even edgy. We want to be noticed — and there’s a difference,” he told the South Bend Tribune. “We have a responsibility to (advertise) with care, and that’s why we’re pulling this ad. We made a mistake and don’t want to have a negative image in the community.”
Read more here.