Bad Choice, Halos

I don’t normally give this blog over to political actions, but I want to point out that there’s a company that recently made a negative connotation for going into a life in the circus.  And that really shouldn’t stand unanswered.

A Life In the Circus is a Good Choice, but Halos Nectarines doesn't know it.

What’s wrong with this picture?

In the commercial in question, two mean girls tell a nicer girl “We’re going to run away and join the circus.  Wanna come?”  The nice girl looks at them for a second, and it then cuts to the mean girls on a tightwire, on stilts, looking scared as they are about to jump through a flaming hoop of death and the ringmaster says “Release the blades”   as the nice girl eats a clementine and the narrator says “Nice choice, kid.”  The commercial for Wonderful Halos Mandarin Oranges (the same people who make Wonderful Pistachios)
Link here:

Kids in Bucharest learning circus skills.

There’s a lot wrong with this commercial, but first and foremost is the fact that making a choice to join the circus is not a bad choice.  The circus is a great life, entertaining families, traveling the country, being part of a circus family.  There are downsides (not a ton of money, always traveling, hard work conditions, and yes, occasionally workplace danger.)  But you could do a lot worse, including a factory job that is stifling mentally, physically, and creatively.  Not to mention that many kids around the world end up doing circus work to escape potential lives of poverty and crime.

A Life in the Circus is a good choice.

Young refugees in Turkey learning circus skills

Also, in the circus, safety is key.  Two inexperienced kids who runaway won’t be forced to do the dangerous stuff until they know how.  They are much more likely to work as candy butchers, ticket takers, or as ring crew (but those two girls don’t seem particularly well-suited for that.


Social Circus has been a big movement in Europe, Latin America and the United States for a few years now, and the benefits to children and communities is palpable. Find out more about it in the United States care of American Circus Educators .  And you can read a study that proves the worth of social circus here.

AYCO (American Youth Circus Organization) is asking that if you would like to make your feelings known,  that you send an email to Wonderful, telling them how you feel about this commercial.  Here’s a sample letter, but feel free to substitute your own.



Taking action only takes a moment – here’s what you do:

1. Cut and paste the below note into your own email (or write your own!)
2. Sub out the [CAPS] sections with your own info
3. Send to


Dear Erin,

I wanted to write to express my concern about your commercial which is disrespectful towards circus as a career and activity.

Circus arts are thriving in the USA as a positive activity for youth development. Participating in circus has recently been proven to improve social and emotional skills in young people. In the circus community, we are working diligently to empower young people to embrace the circus arts as a part of their lives. [ENTER ONE SENTENCE ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO PERSONALIZE THE NOTE]

The Halo’s commercial not only depicts circus as a poor choice but clearly misses the mark that circus is proven to be a positive choice for youth.

I sincerely hope you consider pulling this commercial as it is not only untrue in its depiction of circus, but disrespectful to the circus community and the thousands of youth who benefit from choosing circus every day.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


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