After complaints from parents, JCPenney has pulled a controversial commercial from television networks. The back-to-school spot includes a section that lightheartedly makes fun of a very real issue: kids being bullied and/or excluded because they’re not wearing the right clothes.
Of course, when I was a tween, it was JCPenney clothes that would get you made fun of, but never mind that. Here’s the ad in question:
The voiceover is supposed to be a mother with kids at a variety of ages, who explains that she shops at JCPenney because they have brands that kids “have to have” or it will “make or break their school year.” At the word “break,” everyone surrounding her son in the cafeteria disappears. The implication: kids with off-brand backpacks and sneakers have no friends.