Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Medical personnel and volunteers operate a drive-thru COVID-19 mass vaccination event at PNC arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 11, 2021. (AP) Medical personnel and volunteers operate a drive-thru COVID-19 mass vaccination event at PNC arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 11, 2021. (AP)

Medical personnel and volunteers operate a drive-thru COVID-19 mass vaccination event at PNC arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 11, 2021. (AP)

Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson September 28, 2021

Ad agency, not funeral home, was behind vaccination message on truck

If Your Time is short

• Images shared on social media showed an all-black box truck with a message purportedly from a funeral home saying, "Don't get vaccinated."

• The images are real, but the truck was part of a pro-vaccination campaign by an advertising agency in Charlotte. No funeral home was involved.

Social media users recently shared photographs of an all-black box truck with an unusual message displayed on the side: "Don't get vaccinated. Wilmore Funeral Home." The truck was seen driving around Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium during a Carolina Panthers game, among other places.

Visiting the link advertised on the truck, WilmoreFuneralHome.com, brought up a page with the message, "Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon."

The photographs showed a real truck. But there was no funeral home seeking to cash in on the deaths of Americans who remain unvaccinated against the coronavirus. It was actually a pro-vaccination campaign created by an ad agency in North Carolina.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The ad agency, Charlotte-based BooneOakley, did not respond to inquiries for this article. However, the firm has commented publicly to several media outlets and confirmed on Twitter that it was behind the stunt.

"It was us. Get vaccinated," the firm said in a tweet.

David Oakley, the firm’s president, said the campaign was intended to take a more aggressive approach against complacency about the coronavirus.

"Everything that’s being done right now is pretty straightforward — ‘get the shot,’ ‘get vaccinated today,’" Oakley told the Washington Post. "It was a different way of going about the message."

Claire Oakley, the firm’s director of client services, told Yahoo! Life that the campaign was "all about disrupting the marketplace. That’s our specialty. We started talking about, well, what’s the other perspective on this? Who is benefiting from people not getting vaccinated?"

The webpage linked to the vaccine registration site for StarMed, a local vaccination provider.

BooneOakley used "Wilmore" because it’s the name of the neighborhood where the agency is based, David Oakley told WBTV in Charlotte.

Our ruling

Social media posts shared a photograph suggesting that a funeral home was seeking to increase its business by advertising on a truck with the message "Don't get vaccinated."

The images are real, but the truck was part of a pro-vaccination campaign created by an advertising agency in Charlotte. No funeral home was involved.

We rate the statement Mostly False.

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Louis Jacobson

Ad agency, not funeral home, was behind vaccination message on truck

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up