Indiana Restaurant Pulls Billboards Over Cult ‘Kool Aid’ References

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The Kool-Aid Man balloon passes through Times Square during the 84th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Capitalizing on cults and suicide isn’t always the best strategy for winning the hearts and minds of new customers.

Or at least that’s what Jeff Leslie, Vice President of Hacienda Mexican restaurant discovered after Indiana residents complained over tasteless billboards that referenced the 1978 Jonestown cult massacre for a Kool-Aid infused cocktail.

What was initially meant to be an innocent play on words transpired into a  bold statement splashed across billboards: “We’re like a cult with better Kool-Aid,” over a glass containing a mixed drink, as well as the phrase “To die for!”

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For those of you not old enough to recall the Jonestown Massacre, here’s a quick recap. One day in November 1978, more than 900 members of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple drank cyanide-laced, grape-flavored punch in a mass murder and suicide in the group’s compound in a jungle in Guyana. Now NewsFeed understands what all the fuss is about.

It’s probably for the best that the company took action and pulled the billboards after formally apologizing to an Indiana resident in writing. See the billboard in question at the Associated Press.

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