Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Target praised for ad featuring child model with Down syndrome
The Washington Post reports that Target is being praised for producing an ad featuring a child model with Down syndrome. The circular released last week showed - amid a group of well-dressed children - an adorable boy who has Down syndrome (shown here).
The ad has received attention from scores of parents and advocates. “They said that people born with Down syndrome deserve to be treated the same as every other person on this planet,” said a father of a child with Down syndrome on his blog, Noah’s Dad.
The 6-year-old in the advertisement, Ryan Langston, has modeled before, most notably in a Nordstrom campaign last year. Ryan’s parents told the Web site Disability Scoop that their son adores modeling: “He’s so proud of himself, and it is a huge confidence booster.”
It’s a confidence booster for many others, too. Children with Down syndrome have been featured on occasion in other advertisements and on television shows such as Fox’s “Glee.” But widespread representation of them, or really any special-needs child, is still a rare thing. That’s why Target is also receiving praise for not not making an issue of featuring Ryan in the ad. No press releases, media blitz or other fanfare. Upon inquiry, a Target representative released the following statement to The Washington Post:
“Target is committed to diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business, including our advertising campaigns. Target has included people with disabilities in our advertising for many years and will continue to feature people that represent the diversity of communities across the country.”