OREM, Utah (AP) — A Utah company is pulling an ad featuring a photo of a toddler playing with a rubber ducky next to an open toilet in response to criticism.
The mailer by Any Hour Services of Orem, which offers plumbing service, also features the slogan: "No job too small — We fix it all."
The company scrapped the ad after Vince and Lark Martinez lodged complaints about it. In 1994, their 14-month-old son, Tregory, leaned over a toilet bowl too far, fell in and couldn't pull himself out. He suffered massive brain damage and eventually died.
"This just came as complete devastation," Lark Martinez told the Deseret News (http://bit.ly/1lcXZNw ).
Wyatt Hepworth said he empathizes with the couple's concerns, and his company's new ad will feature the same 16-month-old child standing next to a toilet that has the seat lowered and a child safety lock in place.
The ad also will include photos of the couple and their deceased son with the message: "Keep your toddlers safe and clean with toilet latch."
"In sincerity, we wanted to reach out to this family and let them know that we really do care," Hepworth said, adding his business now will install a free child-proof latch with any plumbing service over $50.
The new ad has the full support of the Martinez family.
"We are working together, and I feel very blessed for this situation," Lark Martinez told the Deseret News. "I feel really confident that so much good is coming out of this."
Jesse Walker, whose son appears in the ad, said she never imagined such a tragedy could happen in a home.
"You think about the bathtub and you think about pools and things like that. But you never think about the toilet," Walker said.
Dozens of child injuries and deaths have occurred in toilets over the last two decades, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which recommends families with young children install toilet-seat cover locks.
Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com