A play-on-words used by a local water park in a marketing message alarms customers. (Published Monday, June 2, 2014)
A popular South Jersey water park's poor choice of words in a marketing message to parents has prompted an apology from the park's owners.
Sahara Sam’s Oasis, a West Berlin, NJ water park, sent an email blast to customers on Thursday with the subject line “sAMBER ALERT: Your Kids Should be Here.”
While the message was intended to promote the water park, many customers who received it say they were initially alarmed by the subject line. Once they figured out it was all part of an ad campaign, they quickly questioned why a business would use a play on words for AMBER ALERT, a national law enforcement warning for missing children, as a way to lure in new business.
“I guess it’s just scary,” said a woman named Lorraine, who did not give her last name. “Anytime you see an Amber Alert you get nervous.”
After receiving angry messages from customers, officials at Sahara Sam’s sent the following message to their newsletter subscribers:
We are deeply sorry for sending the prior email in error which made reference to the amber alert system. The email subject line was not approved for circulation, and in trying to be creative during testing our team made an error which may have resulted in a segment of our subscribers receiving this correspondence.
We realized this mistake and quickly reacted.
Our entire staff sincerely apologizes for any offense this may have caused. In closing we stand behind our commitment to educating children and their safety.
“It was a terrible mistake of course,” said Carol Gibson of Winslow Township. “But it’s been corrected.”
NBC10 reached out to Sahara Sam’s, which is closed on Monday, for further comment but they did not return our calls.
Published at 3:53 PM EDT on Jun 2, 2014