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In September 2021, social media users enthusiastically shared photographs of what appeared to be a mobile advertisement for a North Carolina funeral home that employed the unconventional strategy of encouraging members of the public not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — with the implication being that, since lower vaccination rates would lead to a higher number of otherwise preventable deaths, this would give the funeral directors more “customers,” as it were.
On Sept. 19, for example, Twitter user @yourgeniushands posted a picture of the truck, along with the following description: “This truck is making laps around Bank of America Stadium before the Panthers game in Charlotte.”
The truck itself bore the slogan “Don’t get vaccinated,” along with the name “Wilmore Funeral Home” and the website “WilmoreFuneralHome.com.”
Photographs of the truck were authentic, and not the result of digital editing. However, Snopes has not yet been able to identify who paid for the advertisements, and could not locate any funeral director or funeral home licensed in North Carolina or South Carolina using the name “Wilmore.” As a result, we are issuing a rating of “Mixture.” If definitive, relevant evidence becomes available, we will update this fact check accordingly.
Other photographs of the truck, taken from various angles, were posted to Facebook, demonstrating that the messaging on the truck was not the result of digital editing. The screenshot below shows just a selection of photographs of the truck, posted to Facebook, and demonstrates the significant popularity of those pictures on that platform:
The truck also bore the logo and phone number of Crenshaw Visions, a Lancaster, South Carolina advertising firm.
The website WilmoreFuneralHome.com consisted of the following message:
Get vaccinated now.
If not, see you soon.
On the site, the phrase “Get vaccinated now” linked to the COVID-19 vaccination portal for StarMed Healthcare, a Charlotte healthcare provider.
Snopes asked both StarMed Healthcare and Crenshaw Visions whether the advertising campaign was created by the latter on behalf of the former, as part of an effort to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in the Charlotte area. Despite repeated attempts to get clarification from both companies, we did not receive a response of any kind.
Whoever was behind the truck and website, it does not appear to have been an actual funeral home called “Wilmore.” Snopes checked databases kept by the North Carolina Board of Funeral Services, and the South Carolina Board of Funeral Service, and we could find no licensed funeral home or funeral home professional using the name Wilmore. Nor did we find any listing for a “Wilmore Funeral Home” on the websites of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association or the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association.
This could mean that “Wilmore Funeral Home” is registered in another state (though preliminary research did not yield any results in any other state), or that it was registered only very recently in either North Carolina or South Carolina. However, it’s much more likely to mean that such a business does not exist.
If definitive evidence becomes available as to the identity of those behind the ad campaign, we will update this fact check accordingly.
NCBFS Online Applications :: https://ncbfs.igovsolution.net/online/Lookups/Individual_Lookup.aspx. Accessed 20 Sept. 2021.
Assoc, South Carolina Funeral Directors. “South Carolina Funeral Directors Association | Mt. Pleasant SC.” South Carolina Funeral Directors Association | Mt. Pleasant SC, https://www.scfda.org/fx-stockpages-legacy-directory. Accessed 20 Sept. 2021.
Association, North Carolina Funeral Directors. “Funeral Home Directory | North Carolina Funeral Directors Association | Raleigh NC Funeral Home and Cremation.” Funeral Home Directory | North Carolina Funeral Directors Association | Raleigh NC Funeral Home and Cremation, https://www.ncfda.org/funeral-home-directory. Accessed 20 Sept. 2021.
Funeral Board. https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Funeral/Funeral.aspx?div=31&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1. Accessed 20 Sept. 2021.
Home – Crenshaw Visions. https://crenshawvisions.com/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2021.
“Vaccine.” StarMed Healthcare, https://starmed.care/vaccine/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2021.
Wilmore Funeral Home. https://wilmorefuneralhome.com/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2021.