Super Bowl Ad Depicts Traumatized Baby

(The picture of the doll baby at left is from HomeAway's Super Bowl Ad.)

Though we are all accustomed to entertaining, and sometimes even slightly off-color Super Bowl ads, this year one of the advertisers crossed the line with its ad. (See You Tube Clip.)

HomeAway, Inc., a company that sells holiday rentals, thought that seeing a (doll) baby thrown full-face against a plate glass window would encourage people to abandon the stress and confines of a hotel room and choose instead the more spacious vacation rentals that this company claimed it offered.

Dr. Connie Keefer, a friend and pediatrician colleague from Children's Hospital Boston, wrote to let me know that the American Academy of Pediatrics sent out a news release this week stating clearly that they did not find this depiction of the care of a child at all entertaining.

Here is that release from the AAP:

Feb. 8, 2011
Brian Sharples, CEO
HomeAway Inc.
c/o Eileen Buesing Director of Global Public Relations

Dear Mr. Sharples:
The American Academy of Pediatrics wants to echo the concerns of parents who were dismayed by the depiction of a “test baby” being hurled against a plate glass window in the HomeAway Inc. Super Bowl ad on Sunday. Children have been horribly disabled or killed by such mistreatment. That is not comedy. We fail to see how it could possibly be considered an appropriate subject for a humorous video to sell vacation rentals.

The Academy commends you for listening to such concerns and quickly removing the offensive portions of the ad from your Web site.

O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP
President (AAP)