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JCPenney just can't catch a break. The department store chain has endured internal squabbles and a very-public Hitler teapot scandal only to land in hot water once again over a back-to-school advertisement. The spot features a voice-over of a mom talking about shopping for clothing for her children for the upcoming school year. She stresses that JCPenney has all the brands that kids think are cool, and then says, "This stuff can make or break your entire year." Cut to: a child, presumably wearing the wrong outfit, sitting alone in a school cafeteria.
Some consumers have taken issue with the ad, saying that it promotes bullying and pressures parents to buy things so that their children will fit in at school. As one woman wrote on JCP's Facebook page, "Will not shop at JCP again until the add [sic] with the boy sitting alone due to his clothes is removed and JCP has made a public appology [sic] to all the Moms and children out here."
JCPenney, for its part, is no longer running the ad and has reiterated its support for anti-bullying campaigns.
· Angry parents say J.C. Penney ad promotes bullying [CNN]
· Retailers Suck the Fun Out of Summer With Back-To-School Ads [Racked]
· Hitler Teapot Update: JCP Takes Down Billboard, Mayor Still Mad [Racked]
· Meet the JCPenney Tea Pot That Looks Just Like Hitler [Racked]
· JCPenney Is Going To Fix Their Internet Problem [Racked]
· Watch: JCPenney's Awkward Apology Ad [Racked]