Manchester’s biggest summer festival have been slammed by furious fans after sending out an ‘afterlife’ text addressed from ‘Mum’ to bereaved families.
Fans were stunned to receive a text from ‘Mum’, only to find out it was actually a promotional message promoting the popular music festival.
A number of angry fans took to social media to air their disgust at the insensitive text message.
The text read: “Some of the Parklife after parties have already sold out. If your going, make sure your home for breakfast! Xxx.”
Sir Ian McKellen’s nephew, Andy Leathley, 28, said he broke down in tears when he received the message yesterday.
— The Wine Guy (@AndyTheWineGuy) May 13, 2014
One angry recipient, Ros Prior, 19, wrote a scathing email to the Parklife organisers.
“I am emailing to express my utter disgust with your completely insensitive use of recent marketing techniques,” Ros said in the email.
The trainee dancer from Manchester said she spent her childhood watching her mum fight with Multiple Sclerosis, which she succumbed to 3 years ago when she was 16.
“Her death was something which completely changed my life and was the worst experiences I have ever been through; and is something I am still coming to terms with now,” she said.
“After hearing my phone go of this evening I quickly went to check it only to see a text from ‘Mum’. Confused, shocked and devastated doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when I saw the text.”
She said her heart stopped as she was momentarily filled with confused hope.
“I felt sick to open it because I just couldn’t get my head around it, only to open it and realise it was idiotic, thoughtless and unnecessary marketing technique advertising after parties for a festival which has already had more than enough publicity,” she said.
“Something you will never understand unless you have lost a mother yourself.
What if your mum was dead though and Parklife sent that out. But irresponsible in my eyes.
— Dan Lawless (@DanSince91) May 13, 2014
“My mum’s death and funeral provided me with more than enough pain to last a life time and the fact that by one ignorant text you have managed to rekindle the pain for me and I’m sure many others, I think is frankly quite shocking.”
Ros continues to say she is ‘astounded’ and ‘speechless’ to think how many people this idea must have gone through before it got green lit.
“Not one person stopped and thought for a minute ‘what about the people with the mothers, will that not be awful for them?’,” she said.
— Alexander Robinson (@Xander_Robinson) May 13, 2014
She said she has already contacted Advertising Standards to report the incident.
Ros said she had attended Parklife twice in the past and was planning on making a third visit this summer, but says after this incident the organisers have completely lost her custom and respect.
“I hope you realise the upsetting affects this has had on people like me, not to mention people who may have even lost their mother’s recently,” she said.
Parklife have since apologised for the message, saying any offence caused was unintentional.
“The Parklife Weekender issued a light-hearted marketing SMS message to customers in preparation for the annual weekend festival next month,” a statement from Parklife said.
“It was only intended as an irreverent way to engage with festival goers and was in keeping with the overall tone of the Parklife Weekender. The organisers of the Parklife Weekender would like to apologise to those offended by the communication.”
Image courtesy of James Sann, with thanks.