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IAAPA Defends the Attractions Industry in Letter to AT&T

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April 11, 2019

Randall Stephenson
Chairman and CEO
AT&T
208 S. Akard St.
Dallas, TX 75202 

Dear Mr. Stephenson:

I am writing on behalf IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry. We represent and serve the owners and operators of the largest amusement parks and facilities around the world. On behalf of the 6,000 member companies who provide safe, fun experiences to millions of guests every single day, I wanted to share our disappointment with one of your television spots. The ad, “OK Carnival” from the “Just OK is not OK” campaign shows a mother and son sitting on an amusement ride, asking the ride operator if it is safe. The operator responds saying, “I assembled it myself last night. I think I did an OK job.” Here is the link to the spot on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ-4tRbmX7Q

This ad is concerning to the thousands of people who work in the attractions industry. Guest safety is our number-one priority and is the top consideration in all aspects of design, manufacture, inspection, operation and maintenance of amusement rides. The ad implies employees in the industry are “just OK” when it comes to safety and are not focused on providing quality experiences that are fun and safe.

We understand using humor and “tongue-in-cheek” messaging is a common tactic in advertising, however, by depicting the attractions industry in a false, misleading, and negative light, the ad does not demonstrate integrity or fair messaging your company stands for. On the “Ethics and Compliance” page of your website, it reads, “Ethics and integrity are foundational to who we are at AT&T. While AT&T continues to transform the world of media and entertainment, communications, and technology—our commitment to running a business rooted in ethics and integrity will never change.”

Attractions industry owners, operators, employees, and guests around the country are AT&T customers, and we are very disappointed how our industry is portrayed by this ad. In consideration of our industry’s concerns, we respectfully request you discontinue the use of this ad in your marketing and promotional campaigns.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding your decision on this matter.

Sincerely,

Hal Signature

Hal McEvoy
President and CEO
IAAPA                        

cc: Greg Chiecko, President and CEO, Outdoor Amusement Business Association