Austin, TX - The founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation and the father of its namesake, Patrick Donohue, traveled to the Austin-based headquarters of HomeAway.com this morning to address their Super Bowl Ad depicting a "test baby" being slammed against a glass window at a press conference. The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation has just begun a nationwide tour to raise awareness about youth sports-related concussions and other brain injuries, such as abusive head trauma. The tour began in North Carolina during the NHL All-Star weekend, is traveling throughout Texas during Super Bowl week and then travels to over 40 states over the next six months. HomeAway CEO, Brian Sharples, released a letter prior to the press conference apologizing for their "Test Baby" Super Bowl ad as well as completely altering their media campaign (click here to read the Brian Sharples' letter: http://www.homeaway.com/info/media-center/press-releases/2011/super-bowl-ad-response?cid=SM_tw_text_t_pr_sf1050011).
Patrick Donohue said, "HomeAway should be commended for its swift and decisive action to remove their 'Test Baby' television ad which ran during the Super Bowl. After watching the ad during the Super Bowl, we presented them with the facts that 75% of abusive head trauma is caused by young males as well as brain injury being the leading cause of death and disability. HomeAway agreed to remove all images of the 'test baby' being smashed against a glass wall, thrown through the glass window or being dropped." Donohue is the founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation and father of its namesake. "This is a great example of an organization making a 'Super' response to a difficult situation and being a good corporate citizen."
"I was really pleased to see HomeAway be so responsive to genuine concerns about injuries and violence toward children. I know the ad campaign costs them significant amounts of money. They should be congratulated for understanding the real distress that families and parents could have in seeing their campaign and generating a solution that minimizes the adverse effects," stated Dr. Desmond Runyan, Professor of Social Medicine and Pediatrics at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a Steering Committee Member of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation International Advisory Board and one of the leading experts on child abuse. "HomeAway stepped up to the plate and did the right thing."
The press conference was held outside the headquarters of HomeAway.com at 1011 West Fifth Street in Austin, Texas (across the street in the OfficeMax Parking lot in front of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation's 40-foot traveling RV) on Tuesday morning, February 8, 2011 at 9:15 a.m. (CST).
For more information about The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, please visit their website www.TheBrainProject.org