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    Couche-Tard Clown Ad Campaign Causing Controversy

    Canadian convenience store chain is secure with the advertising spots promoting the 10th anniversary of its Sloche drink.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., a convenience store chain operator based here, is standing up to criticism against its latest Internet advertising campaign featuring a clown being hacked to pieces, the Canadian Press reported.

    One ad shows a multi-colored clown being chopped up with a butcher knife, with sprays of confetti and balloons coming from the blade. The other ad shows the clown being pushed through a saw, with a similar wave of festive confetti coming out the other end. View the ads on www.sloche.com.

    The two online ads promote the 10th anniversary of Sloche, Couche-Tard's slushy drink, the report stated.

    Company spokeswoman Jacinthe Harnois told the Canadian Press adults may finds the ads distasteful, but the campaign is aimed at teenagers, and only appears on the internet because that's where it's easy to reach youngsters.

    She added some people may be shocked by the videos, but joked the clown is just happy doing his job.

    "When we look at the ads, there's no blood, there's no pain, there's no screaming," Harnois added.

    Giovanni Iuliani, a retired clown better known as "Patapouf," isn't laughing, though. He called the ad campaign "disgusting" and "in very bad taste," a separate Canadian Press report stated.

    "Why do they use my profession? Why don't they use a policeman and see how they feel?," the 68-year-old said in an interview with the news service. "They should say we're an honorable profession and we don't want to be portrayed that way," he said. "We don't want to look like insane people."

    This is not the first time a Couche-Tard ad campaign has garnered criticism. A Froster campaign in 2007 drew fire for using the initials "WTF" for "What the Flavor."

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