Bits and Pieces

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Crazy" Teddy Bear Draws Protests

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company comes out with a straight-jacketed bear just in time for Valentines Day, a pathological holiday is there ever was one, and gets spanked:

Mental health advocates believe the bear is "a tasteless use of marketing that stigmatizes persons with mental illness," Jerry Goessel, the executive director of the Vermont chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, wrote to the Shelburne-based company.

"A strait jacket is not a symbol that we want to associate with sales of a teddy bear for loved ones over Valentine's Day," Goessel said. "And the use of commitment papers, legal documents committing an individual to involuntary treatment, is not something to be taken casually."

This is certainly tasteless. But I'm willing for the market to decide if the company should be punished. If no one buys the bear, they won't do it again.
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