Leading Funeral Publication


Batesville Image was Fake, Photoshopped

Last week a picture of the back of a Batesville Casket truck was spread around the internet. The Batesville photo was posted on ConnectingDirectors.com as well as other popular funeral service blogs ran by Caleb Wilde and Alan Creedy. The photo also made the rounds on many social media profiles of funeral professionals. It was really a great thing for Batesville. They got a lot of free and positive exposure.

The photo was of the back of a Batesville casket truck and the text on the back of the truck read “Don’t Text and Drive. Yours may be on the next shipment”. Many funeral professionals gave Batesville kudo’s for the marketing message.

Unfortunately, we found out yesterday afternoon that the original photo had been download off an independent photographer’s website and altered. The “anti-texting” message was added to the image and it does not appear on the back of any Batesville casket delivery trucks.

We received the following message from Batesville Director of Brand and Marketing Communication Teresa Gyulafia:

I saw that you'd published an article based on the photo of the Batesville truck that hit the Internet last week. Unfortunately, this is a case where you can't believe everything you read (or see) online.

While we're strong supporters of not texting and driving - we have a policy for our own drivers - the image circulating online is not real. The original picture of the back of the Batesville truck was taken by an independent photographer and appeared on his website back in 2010. Apparently someone downloaded that image and altered it.

As you've personally experienced, texting while driving is a serious issue with fatal consequences. Because of our business, we do have the opportunity to reinforce this with consumers. Batesville has been part of an anti-texting awareness campaign initiated in 2011 by Finley Advertising of Charlotte, NC. This campaign has already reached millions of teens and adults across the country through a combination of digital billboards, bumper stickers, posters and media coverage.

As an extension of that, we've been working on a program for our customers to use in their communities, and if the response we've received from this 'altered' image is any indication, it will be well received.

I’d like to thank Teresa for reaching out and being honest about the photo. Again, this was very positive for Batesville and she didn’t have to let us know it was an altered image. I would also like to give Batesville Kudo’s for taking an open and active stance against texting while drive and having a policy in place for their own drivers. We are looking forward to the roll out of the program they have been working on for their funeral home customers to use in their own communities.

So, based on the positive response Batesville received from the ‘altered’ image we have to ask: Should they add the anti-texting message to the back of their delivery trucks?




ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.

  • TDS

    This error shows just how many bloggers and “professionals” are quick to publish without doing any research and it reflects poorly on CD even though it was a positive message.

  • Rstnnpeace

    Gee…..Why not the fast response about the doctored image of the Batesville vault popping out of the ground? That was staged AND Photoshopped !!!!!!

  • Kayjudd

    Makes me wonder if I need to go to snopes.com before believing anything posted from CD….

  • fluidpusher

    I was one of those who shared this on Facebook, and many of my friends shared it also. I had read that it was a Photoshop job, but I really don’t care. It is a good message. I think the original message was “Drive carefully, Heaven can wait.” I’m not a fan of Batesville, but if they can get good press out of this, good for them.

  • alan creedy

    Well, I guess I am supposed to feel foolish…but I don’t. Even if this was a hoax it taught us all a great lesson. Funeral Service is ready for some humor if it’s for a good cause. Given the level of positive reaction to this photo I would put this on my trucks if I were Batesville and if they don’t do it then If I were Aurora or some other casket company I would do it.
    We used humor in our ads at Trust 100 and they worked.
    To those serious journalists out there who feel we are amateurs for not having vetted this story, well…get a life!!!

    • Alan, I’m not a serious journalist but I am a serious funeral director. The bigger picture to me is if CD doesn’t vette the small, cutsie stories how will the readers have any confidence in the validity of the larger ones? I applaud Ryan for what he does and can only imagine how difficult it would be to continually have new and relevant content but frankly, I have been disappointed in the tabloid feel of many of the stories.

    • timlucas123

      I work for Batesville casket company. Our supervisors always stress the importance of “Don’t text and drive.” I honestly think that this should be on the back of our trucks.


    The original phrase was on the Edgecombe Casket Companies trucks in the 60’s & 70’s. Edgecombe was from Pinetops, NC and was purchased by a great family (Capital City Casket Company, Cayce, SC. Capital City and Edgecombe was purchased by Aurora Casket Company not long ago (before the Aurora sales).

  • gold12

    This is on the back of their trucks now. I work at a funeral home in central Ohio and I saw it today when they delivered our order. I Googled it to show a co-worker that missed it and found this blog.

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  • Pam

    Not sure which company has it on the back, but I have seen, in person, that message on a truck carrying caskets.

  • Leah Adirondacks

    This layperson would love for the funeral business to leverage its power by putting this kind of message on non-funerary vehicles. Go for it, funeral business folks!!! It won’t hurt your business and it could help save lives. How about reviving this as a poll question to your user base / membership? (I just saw the pic today, March 2015, and guessed at once that it was photoshopped… which is how I landed on this page. Wish the pic had been real.)