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Does Heart and Stroke's "Make Death Wait" campaign go too far?

Categories: Canada, Community, Health, News Promo



An advertisement for the Heart and Stroke Foundation's "Make Death Wait" campaign has prompted several calls to the foundation by viewers who find it upsetting.

In the ad, a man with a raspy voice declares his love for women -- older women, professional women, stay-at-home moms -- over a series of scenes in which women are being watched.

"You have no idea that I'm coming after you," the man says, as a woman wearing a bathing suit looks over her shoulder.

The voice is intended to personify death, and to warn women that heart disease and stroke is their number one killer.

But the public service announcement is receiving mixed reviews.

In an interview broadcast Wednesday on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning radio show, the foundation's CEO David Sculthorpe said the spot has received several phone calls from people upset by the ads despite receiving mostly positive reviews on social media.

The YouTube comments on the campaign, which features a similar ad targeting men, show a range of reactions:

  • "I actually think these commercials are well done and get the point across. It is supposed to be scary, why do you think there is scary pictures on cigarette packs? It will offend people but it will make them think twice about their heart!" - coryboy
  • "These predatory commercials have left a lasting impression on me, I am now firmly convinced the [Heart and Stroke Foundation] is desperate for donations and will stoop to any sleazy and exploitative tactic in an effort to generate capital." - atrumira
  • "The reason this is a good ad is because it is controversial. If it weren't controversial, it would not generate an effect . . . Clearly, the Heart and Stroke foundation managed to do a good job with this." - IrishSeaCaptain

The ads, which began airing in October, will run until the end of February. The campaign has also appeared in magazines, and will start appearing in newspapers and on radio at the end of January.

Have the ads succeeded in getting you to think about heart disease and stroke prevention, or to donate to the foundation? How do you feel about unconventional, even unsettling, PSAs?
 


(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Health

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