Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
The death toll keeps rising.
A time, you might think, for communities to stick together and help each other.
It depends, perhaps, on your definition of help.
As the Woolsey Fire burned in Ventura County, southern California, a local Ford dealership thought it would highlight, well, its latest offers.
It must have put its best talents on the job to come up with this headline:
Well we didn't catch fire, But these deals are smoking hot. Take a look!
What a fine use of an exclamation point.
There were quite a few exclamations uttered when people witnessed this email ad.
It's time to call out the disgusting action of this ad. Pass it on. And let's ALL stop shopping for cars at Simi Valley Ford from today on. #californiawildfires #CaliforniaFire #ShameOnYou #simivalleyford @simivalleyford #badtastemoves pic.twitter.com/FkC5214UKu-- Tammy Godfrey (@TameraTammyTam) November 13, 2018
The ad was mind-numbingly ill-judged.
Who could have possibly thought it was, what, funny when people all around were losing their homes and even dying?
Worse, the dealership took to Twitter to offer a (sort of) apology. It read:
Hello Friends, Our advertising team picked a heading for this week's campaign that appears to be insensitive to some. We are part of this great community and have many close friends that are concerned for us.
Appears to be insensitive to some?
Might the dealership name those who found this to be remarkably apposite?
Simi Valley Ford's tweet also linked to an apology on its Facebook page. This has mysteriously disappeared.
It seems that the dealership realized it may not have been contrite enough. Bad publicity can do that to you.
So on Tuesday, it put its big brains on the task and came up with this:
Recently, we expressed ourselves in a way that does not reflect our values. We are sorry. Simi Valley is our home and, like all of us who live here, we will continue to assist during these difficult times.
I fear forgiveness may not come swiftly in the face of such blind indifference to the community's plight.
Perhaps Simi Valley Ford could donate some cars to those who might have lost theirs.
Oh, what am I saying?