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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kayak Commercial Mocks the Elderly with Disabilities

By Lisa Cayton Stockdale

Ageism has been defined as the tendency to regard older people as debilitated or unworthy of attention.  That just about sums up the negative attitudes and perpetuation of stereotypes around aging and the elderly portrayed in Kayak's latest commercial.  Allow me to rephrase, Kayak isn't bashful about poking fun at the frail, elderly, vulnerable or disabled as long as it helps them turn a profit.

The commercial depicts a man searching for a hotel deal on his laptop while riding his mother's stairlift because he "can't afford to waste a second" looking for hotel deals.  Meanwhile, his elderly mother struggles to climb the stairs as he whizzes by without demonstrating a hint of concern.  His wife apparently shares in his callous attitude as she stands at the top of the stairs conversing with him without any regard for the old woman's safety.

I realize that some will say that I am being hyper-sensitive and that I should learn to take a joke and that I need to lighten up and on and on it will go.  Tell you what!  I'll stop being hyper-sensitive when Kayak stops behaving like insensitive jerks. These are the same folks that just last year drew immense criticism for a commercial that made light of brain surgery and was deemed highly offensive to the point that it was actually banned in the UK. I'll learn to take a joke when Kayak learns that there are boundaries.  Let's raise up a standard and refuse to allow anyone to demean, humiliate or degrade our elders.  I'll lighten up when Kayak shapes up.  Till then, let's boycott and refuse to utilize their services!!!