LOUISVILLE, Colo. - A Louisville-based sports apparel company has learned the hard way that you shouldn't use what appears to be a dead dog in your ads -- even in jest.
Pearl Izumi is the subject of an online firestorm among dog lovers after one of their ads appeared in Canadian Running Magazine and was quickly sent around social media.
The ad depicted a trail runner decked out in Pearl Izumi apparel, performing what appeared to be CPR on his unconscious canine. The unwritten suggestion was that the gear makes you run so long that you could give your dog a heart attack.
"You should be seriously ashamed of even entertaining an ad like this," said Angela Seguin, owner of a Canadian dog treat company, in a Facebook post. "The editor who approved it should be fired and so should the ad creator. This has done serious damage to your reputation. ... I'll be sure to pass this along to everyone I know."
The Colorado company has posted an apology on its Facebook page,
"We made a mistake. You love dogs. We love dogs. And, just like many of you, we love to run with our dogs. It’s fun, healthy and brings tremendous joy to the lives of pets and their owners. However, the Run Faster advertising that ran in Canadian Running magazine overstepped the bounds of good taste. A lot. And, we offended many of you. While it was never our intention to make light of this serious subject, this ad crossed the line and used poor judgment. For this, we apologize."
Canadian Running Magazine's Facebook page was also barraged with angry comments.
After the retraction, many still expressed their dissatisfaction, with hateful posts still rolling in over the weekend.
Michael Heimes posted on their Facebook page: "What were you guys thinking? You guys now, with all the attention you have and will be receiving, should take this opportunity to educate the public on how to safely run with their dogs. A loyal dog may run itself to death despite being overheated and dehydrated. And that's not funny."
Some customers weren't upset with the ad, however.
Eric Christy Manchester, of Los Angeles, posted,: "Nobody killed a dog to make the ad. Everybody needs to calm down."
After the controversial ad exploded across social media, Pearl Izumi contacted the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, expressing the company's regret, and contributed $10,000 to the nonprofit "as a sign of our commitment to the well being of the pets we all love."
"Again, we sincerely apologize from the bottom of our hearts. We hope to see you out running soon," the company said on its Facebook page.