Car dealership apologizes for radio ad

Published: Monday, May 20 2013 10:06 p.m. MDT

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — An eastern Idaho auto dealership that offended some area residents with a radio commercial that included a derogatory reference about special needs children in a sales pitch for trucks has apologized.

KIFI-TV reports in a story Friday that Pocatello-based Cole Chevrolet pulled the ads and is also teaming up with the Special Olympics of Eastern Idaho. Company officials say they made an unwitting mistake.

The advertisement says, "Are you driving a wimpy truck? Do your kids take the short bus so they won't be seen in it?"

The company said it has made a donation and that Marketing Director Valorie Smith will create public service announcements for Special Olympics.

"From myself, my team, Cole Chevrolet, we just hope everyone understands it was a mistake," Smith said. "It's been taken care of and we're definitely sorry."

Maegan Tsantis is a mother of three, including a special needs child.

"I felt really bad," Tsantis said. "I just didn't think it was appropriate to be using that and it actually really, really offended me."

Other parents were also angry, said Holly Giglio, director of the Special Olympics of Eastern Idaho.

"Our parents, they obviously were upset and they let their voice be heard and I think in the end, good things came from it," she said.

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