As the terrorist group ISIL continues to make headlines (for all the wrong reasons) in the U.S. and abroad, companies are becoming sensitive to its effect on consumers’ sentiment. Images that have been disseminated of the organization beheading American citizens have infiltrated newscasts and web stories.
Case in point: Busch Gardens in Virginia has removed props of rubber severed heads from its Halloween display.
A statement from Busch Gardens reads:
Many of the scenes depicted at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream are graphic in nature, but they are fictional and are not intended to provide commentary on current world events. The props in this year’s event were designed and purchased several months ago. In light of recent events, some of these props have the unintended consequence of appearing insensitive and are being removed. Busch Gardens apologizes for any offense they may have caused.
According to local news station WAVY, the move was a response to customer complaints about the insensitivity of the displays.
The move comes weeks after 20th Century Fox had to make a similar apology for promoting the DVD release of the TV series “Sleepy Hollow” with a “Headless Day” campaign. As if you really needed to hear this advice: Lay off the severed heads in this year’s Halloween marketing materials.