Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ice Cream Commercial's Dangerous Premise

Is it because I watch too much news and crime TV? I recently saw a TV commercial with the following storyline: a boy is left behind by his ride home from school; he sees the ice cream man who offers to bring him home; he helps the man sell ice cream until they get to his house, whereupon the boy's mother is waiting and on seeing how her son got there, expresses her gratitude and pleasure... Isn't anybody else bothered by it? It's a sweet scene and we certainly love the idea of a young boy being friends with the neighborhood ice cream man or of the latter being so trustworthy mothers wouldn't think twice about letting their kids ride around with him... However, doesn't the idea of your kid going off or accepting a ride (albeit the ride being a mere ice cream bicycle cart - but, hey, with a portable freezer! Okay, that aside was mostly hours and hours of Criminal Minds talking) from somebody no matter how familiar horrify you? Some time back a 7-year-old girl was raped and murdered by the very person paid by her own mother to take her to and from school... I don't know. Am I making a big stink over nothing? The commercial just really caught my attention and I reacted to it quite strongly. People probably dismiss it just as a commercial (I couldn't find any sentiments about it similar to mine online); certainly their kids know better... Maybe no kid as yet has gotten the idea from it that it's okay to go off with somebody who's not entrusted by his parent to take him home, but I still think that it's dangerous to put even the merest hint of a suggestion out there. What do you think?

9 comments:

yme said...

I agree! haven't seen the commercial but nowadays parents can't help but be paranoid, with rampant rape and kidnapping its still better to be 'praning' than sorry.

swirlyagelessmind said...

can't be too safe these days.

spinninglovelydays said...

@Emy: True. I keep on trying to say that times are different now, but it always occurs to me that there were also evil people back then.

@Chip: Right.

Sharkbytes said...

Well, it's hard to know... maybe it was supposed to be a person the kid knew. I have mixed feelings about making children paranoid about everyone else in the world.

spinninglovelydays said...

It was -- that's why most people think there's nothing wrong with the idea behind the ad. I personally don't think kids - the boy in the commercial is 8ish- should decide to just allow somebody to bring them home. In real life, the boy's school wouldn't allow him to go off with somebody who's not designated to pick him up. I don't know; maybe it's diff in the 3rd world...

Mela said...

maybe the advertiser should have made it obvious that the boy knew the ice cream man well. it somehow presents the idea that children can fully trust strangers as long as they have treats or ice cream. it's scary because i think the commercial is a hit with kids- my daughter actually loves that commercial.

spinninglovelydays said...

Hi, Mela! In a thoroughly wholesome world, that ad would have been really endearing.

Nikka Why said...

I just wonder at the irresponsibility of the mom, forgetting to pick up her kid? Really?

spinninglovelydays said...

Hi, Nikka! I think the boy actually missed his school bus. My main problem with the ad is that the boy so easily went off with somebody not designated to pick him up. I don't think this is okay, even if the man is an acquaintance.