'Morbid' Funeral Home Ad Wants Motorists to 'Text and Drive'

But it isn't quite what it appears
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2016 2:10 PM CDT
'Morbid' Funeral Home Ad Wants Motorists to 'Text and Drive'
The Wathan Funeral Home would appreciate it if Toronto motorists would continue texting while driving.   (YouTube)

Motorists in Toronto were recently confronted by a huge billboard from Wathan Funeral Home instructing them to "text and drive," Adweek reports. The "provocative in the extreme" billboard understandably sent many angry Toronto residents to the Wathan Funeral website. There they were greeted with this message: “You probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you'd be right. It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we're not a funeral home.” Instead, the billboard is a PSA from ad agency John St. and billboard owner Cieslok Media, according to BuzzFeed.

Cieslok Media CEO Jörg Cieslok tells Adweek the billboard is "for the general public good." “We wanted to think of a different way of saying it that would make people think about the real consequences,” the managing director of John St. adds. The Wathan Funeral website states fatalities from texting and driving are becoming more common than even those from drinking and driving. And yet more than half of drivers in Ontario admit to reading texts while they're behind the wheel. The reaction to the stealth PSA on social media has found the billboard to be "clever" but "morbid." (More driving while texting stories.)

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