Anger over fitness centre’s ‘death notice’
4 January 2006
BRUSSELS — The fitness centre Passage FitnessFirst has sparked a storm of controversy after sending households an advertising pamphlet in the form of a death notice.
The pamphlet looked like a mourning card, including a cross and a black border. But after opening the pamphlet, readers are confronted with an advertisement for the fitness centre.
The pamphlet reads: “Good news. No one has died. On the contrary, in 2006 we are going to help everyone live more healthily.”
Passage FitnessFirst marketing chief Erwin Demaertelaere admitted that the organisation has received a large number of complaints.
“Especially people who have recently had a death in the family,” have complained, Demaertelaere said, adding that Passage has offered them its sincerest apologies.
Demaertelaere also said the campaign with the fake death notice was designed to gain attention for the fitness centre. It is hoped the campaign will lead to increased membership.
“In a month’s time, we will know if this campaign benefited or damaged us,” he said.
The Ghent-based Passage FitnessFirst had 1 million fake death notices printed, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported on Wednesday.
Passage has 26 fitness clubs in Belgium with more than 500,000 members. In total, it has fitness centres in 15 countries.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news