Fake funeral home advertisement promotes COVID-19 vaccination in North Carolina

2021-12-15 00:44:16 By : Ms. Helen Wang

David Oakley, President of BooneOakely, had a conversation with Fox Television (FOX Television) about proposing a provocative billboard to promote COVID-19 vaccination.

Charlotte, North Carolina-An advertising agency in North Carolina has attracted national attention for falsifying funeral home billboards in order to encourage people to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Don't get vaccinated" is a simple message drawn in black and white on a van that drove outside of Bank of America Stadium near Charlotte on Sunday.

The ad appears to be sponsored by Wilmore Funeral Home and has the URL listed. When you visit their website, the message will read "Get vaccinated immediately. If not, see you soon." Then the link provided will take you to StarMed Healthcare to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The BooneOakley agency stated that there is no such thing as Wilmore Funeral Home. Billboards are a publicity stunt to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Related: CDC Advisory Group Meets to Discuss Pfizer's COVID-19 Enhanced Injection

"Of course it is frustrating that not enough people are vaccinated," President David Oakley told Fox Television on Wednesday. "From my point of view, it's very simple. You know this is medical science. Protect yourself from this virus."

Oakley said that he and his team had this idea a few weeks before the launch. 

"We are considering what we can do to help gain more opportunities," he said. "You know we are a creative advertising company. We said you know that maybe we should use our talents for the common good."

Oakley said the team started from the perspective of a funeral home because they believed it was a business that unfortunately prospered during the pandemic. 

"For me, the unique thing about advertising is that it misleads people," Oakley continued. 

Related: The FDA advisory panel agrees that Pfizer's COVID-19 booster is suitable for 65 years and older, and voted against young people

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 52% of the state's total population has been vaccinated. After a slight increase in the vaccination rate, it began to decrease slightly in mid-August. Recently, the number of positive cases across the state has also decreased.

Oakley was vaccinated, and as far as he knew, he was not infected with the coronavirus. However, he said that he knows many people who are sick and some people have died from the virus.

Oakley said he was not sure if anyone had been vaccinated because of his ad. StarMed Healthcare declined to comment on FOX TV. 

"If this advertising campaign persuades a person to get vaccinated, it will be worth it," Oakley added.

Related: Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 booster is 94% effective within 2 months after the first injection, the company says

Oakley said his company does not plan to launch fake funeral ads again, but his team is considering different ways to spread the message.

"A provocative advertisement like this is not for everyone," he continued. "Some people will be offended for this. But it is those who have not been vaccinated that make me feel offended."

"So there. We are flat," he said.

This story is reported from Los Angeles.   

Do not publish, disseminate, adapt or redistribute this material. ©2021 FOX TV Station