Circulating social media posts from the Charlotte area feature a photo of a black van with one bold statement, “Don’t get vaccinated.”
The van made laps around the Bank of America stadium before Sunday’s Panthers game.
The name “Wilmore Funeral Home” is printed on the van to suggest the fate of an unvaccinated person, and the supposed funeral home’s website reads, “Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon.”
It turns out that Wilmore isn’t a real funeral home. Instead, the website is a landing page that takes visitors to the StarMed website, where people in the Charlotte area can learn about where and how to receive a free coronavirus vaccine.
The fake funeral home is actually a planned campaign by an ad agency to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines, which have been proven to reduce serious illness or death from coronavirus.
David Oakley, the agency’s president, spoke to Newsweek and said he wanted to push people to get vaccinated.
“A lot of pro-vaccine advertising is very straightforward. We thought, ‘Is there a way to turn it around and do it from a different perspective?'” Oakley told Newsweek.
According to Newsweek, StarMed did not pay to be part of the campaign but supported the cause.
Dr. Arin Piramzadian, StarMed Healthcare’s chief medical officer, told the Charlotte Observer, “If this saves one person’s life by getting vaccinated, I’m 100% for it.”