As an individual still feeling fairly new and scared of my journey with Celiac Disease, I got a big kick in the gut tonight by a company that my family has shopped at for many, many years, Party City. My spouse and I were sitting on the couch surfing our Celiac Disease support groups on Facebook and came across a post from a fellow Celiac friend showing the latest commercial coming from Party City.
How could I resist clicking? There was a lot of upsetting comments in the feed. What was going on?
The commercial was removed not long after Party City published it, however the wonders of the Internet always have someone watching and of course, it still exists. This commercial went through many hands before it should have been signed off on. How many people assisted in the planning, development, staging, casting and finalizing of this to never think calling the gluten free community “gross” was acceptable?
Party City, I request you take a few minutes to read our journey to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Tell me now having to be gluten free is “gross”. Tell our children that their Mommy crying in the middle of a grocery store because she is unable to find the ONE gluten free product she needed but can’t, is “gross”. Every single day I struggle to get out of bed, to walk up my stairs to use the bathroom, live in 24/7 agonizing pain because of what gluten did to me after many years undiagnosed. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease mere months ago, likely the time it took your team to put together this commercial. In that time, did anyone on your payroll do true market research on what gluten free means? I know I’ve learned a lot in these past few months and one thing I’ve learned very fast is being gluten free is NOT a joke. This is the vilest thing we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen a lot of really vile things in our life.
Did you know, there are a lot better looking gluten free dishes out there than your weak ass crackers? Likely not, as you thought being gluten free is GROSS. I would bet money on it those crackers weren’t even gluten free!
Here’s to the finer point of your commercial, why was there any need to pinpoint the gluten free options in the first place? There is not a single “food allergy” as you called it in your pathetic post on Facebook attempting to apologize, that ever deserves to be singled out in such a manner. There was zero purpose for this inclusion. You allowed women to act like pure Mean Girls, you encouraged mocking and demoralizing the meaning of what it is to be gluten free.
It is time you took a moment to educate yourselves. Celiac Disease is NOT a food allergy. It is an autoimmune disease that will FOREVER be a part of my life, unlike you.
Hats off to you Party City, you’ve lost a lifetime customer and we hope many more follow suit with us.