Canadian Fashion Retailer Releases ‘Repulsive’ Ad Promoting Assisted Suicide

Shoppers during the opening of Simons' 16th location at the CF Fairview Pointe Claire in P
Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Leading Canadian fashion retailer La Maison Simons launched a new ad campaign titled “All Is Beauty” that is being accused of “promoting” and “romanticizing” assisted suicide.

In the roughly three-minute clip, a now-deceased terminally-ill woman in her 30s named Jennyfer describes her coming to grips with the choice to end her life while seeing the “beauty” all around, as she presents euthanasia as “the most beautiful exit.”

“Dying in a hospital is not what’s natural, that’s not what’s soft. And in these kinds of moments you need softness,” she says as an empty hospital bed is shown with flickering lights. 

After the room floats away in the ocean, Jennyfer is seen sitting alone at the beach.

“It can take dying to figure out what living is actually like,” she says. 

With tears, she says she spent her life “filling my heart with beauty, with nature, with connection.” 

“So I choose to fill my final moments with the same,” she continues.

As she blows bubbles on the beach and others join, she proclaims that “last breaths are sacred.”

As she is seen playing an instrument and then dining and giggling with others, Jennyfer says that when imagining her final days, “I see music; I see the ocean; I see cheesecake.”

She concludes by stating that: “Even now, as I seek help to end my life, with all the pain, and in these final moments, there is still so much beauty. You just have to be brave enough to see it.”

“And seeing the rhythms of what’s gonna keep going after I’m gone, bring a lot of comfort,” she adds.

The clip ends with text that reads: “For Jennyfer, June 1985 — October 2022.”

Peter Simons, the company’s chief merchant, subsequently explained the “thinking and motivations” behind the project, claiming that “at some point, you have to decide (I think) in life, what you want to do and is your heart in a generous place, and then you have to create a new reality.”

“And you can question yourself and never do anything but if your heart is in a right place then I think you just have to forge forward with courage,” he added.

In response to the ad, many took to social media to express outrage.

“Canadian clothes retailer Simons is actually using suicide to market their products,” wrote conservative journalist Ian Miles Cheong.

“No, this isn’t made up,” he added. “It’s part of a sweeping effort to introduce medically assisted suicide as a treatment for mental illness, PTSD and even children with defects in Canada.”

“Looks like a dystopian nightmare from a Philip K Dick short story,” wrote another. “Big Commerce and Big Government partnering to promote death.”

One Twitter user accused Simons’ new campaign of “promoting” assisted suicide, while another accused the chain of “romanticizing” it.

 “This is beyond disturbing to me,” wrote one user.

“Simons, Canadian retailer, is romanticizing suicide to sell products,” wrote another Twitter user. “REPULSIVE.”

“Absolutely revolting that Simons is trying to glorify assisted suicide for Turdeau’s death cult,” another wrote.

“La Maison Simons is treating euthanasia as performance art,” wrote another user.

“Canadian clothes retailer Simons is marketing their products with suicide,” yet another wrote. “Normalizing assisted suicide as a treatment for mental illness, PTSD and even children with defects is the next step for depopulation.”

Another called for a boycott of the Canadian chain.

After legalizing assisted suicide in 2016, Canada has become one of only seven countries allowing medical professionals to administer lethal drugs to patients and is the only country that allows nurse practitioners to kill their patients. 

Though euthanasia was initially limited to patients over the age of 18 suffering from a terminal illness, the standards have been increasingly loosened with each passing year.

Earlier this month, a document for doctors produced by the Canadian Association of MAID Assessors and Providers was brought to public attention. It suggests that doctors are obligated to bring up the topic of euthanasia before their patients do if the patient is eligible and it is “medically relevant.”

Last week, Canadian religious leaders expressed growing concern over the looming activation of new policies that would allow those suffering from mental illness to be euthanized with considerable speed — just 90 days after two doctors approve a request for assisted suicide.

This is not the first time the Quebec-based department store chain has found itself mired in controversy.

Previously, the retailer pulled nearly half-a-million “back-to-school” catalogs after receiving complaints over photos of fashion models deemed “too thin.”

In 2018, Simons issued an apology for a “strength and femininity” promotional campaign that used the names of historic Canadian women, including former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin, to sell lingerie.

The controversial campaign comes as luxury fashion house Balenciaga came under fire for “glamorizing” child abuse and “sexualizing” children after a recent ad campaign showed children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage outfits along with the bizarre inclusion of a document referencing a U.S. Supreme Court case involving child pornography.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.