Dear Autism Community: What are your thoughts on this autism awareness campaign?



14 Comments Add yours

  1. autismcuppa says:

    I don’t see the point for them to be doing this. I suppose it’s good for autism awareness in that this company is doing something. But an energy drink with a suspect name makes me feel uneasy about how serious, committed and compassionate they are about autism . Autism is not a mental illness, either. It’s a developmental disability, so someone is really not doing their homework!

    If this was a better known beverage (I’m in the Midwest and I’ve NEVER HEARD of this energy drink) like Red Bull or Rock Star, I would not care and I bet, no one else would care either. The Families with Autism event sounds fun but again, make me squeamish because I would wonder if Our Kids would be exploited by them…..their name is not funny but apparently, THEY thinks it’s funny!

    As well, their *Kick Autism in the Butt* campaign….where is the money going and how is that money going to be used to help families with autism? I know *Race for Autism* but….where is the money going?

    My son with autism is 36 and I’m old and crabby about some of this stuff I guess!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve been concerned as someone living with autism about the exploitation of the kids for cause marketing as well. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Greatly appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Cristina Alexander says:

    I never heard of the energy drink brand 51FIFTY, but with a campaign bearing the words “Kick Autism in the Butt” I know that their cause is influenced by Autism Speaks’s ableist rhetoric.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My first thought was I don’t encourage use of energy drinks or would want to imply support for the soft drink industry. Seems like a marketing opportunity for them.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ravenwing72 says:

    This concerns me. It’s not ok to profit from autism and I smell the aroma of autism speaks here.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do believe they donate to Autism Speaks and other local autism charities too. Here’s a petition for the company’s product to be placed back on the shelves. The argument here is they do so much good for the autism awareness and autism community.

      We are reaching out on behalf of 51FIFTY Energy Drink. A bunch of people and groups who support 51FIFTY Energy Drink have been spammed by a person on Facebook in an attempt to make 51FIFTY look insensitive toward the mentally ill. This person is misrepresenting 51FIFTY to everyone they partner with and we don’t think this is fair.

      Save Mart Supermarkets has responded to their cries by discontinuing 51FIFTY Energy Drink from their stores. Stand up and be heard and let Save Mart know you support 51FIFTY and want the product on their shelves.

      51FIFTY is a stand up company that does a ton of charity work to help families that are living with autism as well as the less fortunate. In fact, they just flew in Evander Holyfield to Livingston to inspire young athletes at their annual “Gloves Not Drugs Boxing Show”.

      There is so much this company does in partnership with the Carlos Vieira Foundation, the nonprofit founded by the CEO of 51FIFTY that provides grants for families living with autism and holds multiple fundraisers throughout the year. Check out their website We should be proud to support a company that gives back so much to the community.

      It’s very scary to think that someone could potentially ruin a company’s image and endanger the livelihoods of its hardworking employees all because of how they perceive a name.

      If this is really about a name. What about Krazy Glue? What about El Pollo Loco? If it’s about a slogan, what about Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s “Crazy good”. Any of these can be twisted to mean something unfavorable.

      51FIFTY is very sensitive toward the mentally ill and met the California NAMI chapter last year after the story ran. The owner of 51FIFTY, Carlos Vieira even met with Eve herself, only to have the interaction twisted to make Carlos look cold and uncooperative.

      These people are trying to make others think that the company doesn’t know or care about what 5150 means. 51FIFTY has always made it understood that whenever it’s being referred to, it’s “51FIFTY” and not “5150” for that very reason.

      And what “51FIFTY” actually means is being crazy enough to chase your dreams despite the naysayers. It has as much to do with the mentally ill as “March Madness” does.


      1. ravenwing72 says:

        They need to stop donating to Autism Speaks. Period. Then I’ll fight for them. Not before.


  5. katelon says:

    I’m not a fan of energy drinks either and the slogan “Kick Autism in the butt” makes no sense….it’s like it is some disease that you simply find the drug for, rather than what it really is. So to me…it seems suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Live the Madness”? really!?! I’m also not a fan of characterizing autism as something to fight. To me, the point of autism awareness is to make people aware of ‘other minds’, other ways of thinking, other ways of being and to try connecting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Here’s an update on the petition to get product put back on Save Mart Shelves.

    Apr 7, 2016 — So here we are. 51Fifty is moving forward with the Race To End Stigma Campaign. Everyone seems to be on the same page and getting along, right? Well then, my question is why has no one heard from Save Mart? Numerous posts, e-mails, calls, etc……….. and nothing. Not a peep. Hrmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, that doesn’t quite work for us here at the #Isupport51FIFTY Campaign. So this morning Tracey sent this e-mail:

    Gentlemen and Ms. Miranda,

    I’m writing to you again to see if you’ve changed your position on restoring 51Fifty to all Save Mart stores. You see, quite a bit has changed since my last email to you.

    You’ve been given a chance to change your position, save face and support ending the “stigma” that claims to be the root of this entire campaign. A reversal of your decision at this point would be in your best interest.

    As you can see per the attached photo and link to an article published by the Fresno Bee, Miss Eve Hinson, who originally started the campaign to remove product, is now supporting 51Fifty. That alone should prove to you that she no longer supports removing the product from your stores. It would seem to be quite the contradiction if she did.

    As I stated in my previous emails to you, we’re not going away. WE refuse to be ignored. The petition to restore product has now reached 2118.

    I’d greatly appreciate a response to this email not later than Monday. Should you choose to not respond, our next move will be to organize “Restore 51Fifty” protests with all 2118 people at all Save Mart stores throughout the Central Valley. Considering we’ve reached out to multiple Media outlets already, I can’t imagine that this is the image that you want to portray.

    Looking forward to your response.


    Tracey Buck

    We sincerely hope to hear back from Save Mart before the set deadline. However, we are ready to organize protests across the valley if we don’t. Please keep the push going! Please REFUSE TO BE IGNORED!


  8. And … Our, Rhonda/Mine/AmericanBadass, response to clarify:

    American Badass Advocates

    Hello all, a quick notie from the co-founder of There is some misreading of the aforementioned Fresno Bee article going on. My partner, Eve Hinson and I (Rhonda Jane Wirzberger-Thornton) support the newly announced campaign #RaceToEndStigma but we also support Save Mart’s decision to take a stand against stigma. We continue that support to this day. We encourage Carlos to launch the campaign, make it successful, show Save Mart that stigma is reduced, then approach Save Mart about once again carrying the product. “I am going to win this NASCAR race” doesn’t win an award, “I crossed the finish line first” gets a trophy. (Neither Eve Hinson nor I have signed this petition for the reasons given above)


  9. Zeina says:

    “Kick autism in the butt”…”fight autism”….really, like Autism is cancer now? No, wait…”live the madness”….are they even sure what they want from this campaign? Embrace it or kick it? That’s quite offensive, either way!

    Liked by 1 person

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