The idea behind the U.K.'s new controversial new ad campaign is to raise awareness about how awful pancreatic cancer is. It's awful, it has the lowest survival rate, and it's extremely painful.
The ads want to emphasize these points by having pancreatic cancer patients say they wish they had other cancers.
"I wish I had breast cancer."
We understand the thought behind this, but all cancers are fucking awful, and we nobody should be comparing them in this way. Breast cancer organizations are outraged, with Breakthrough Breast Cancer CEO Chris Askew saying:
"We can't support any message that suggests that any form of cancer is preferable to any other. Or any inference that breast cancer has been 'solved.'"
It's backlash like this that has made the PCA respond, saying:
All cancer is dreadful and this campaign is not suggesting that anyone's suffering resulting from cancer is worse than another's. It simply expresses the real thoughts and feelings of many pancreatic cancer patients and is something we hear time and time again. Every cancer patient deserves the best chance of survival.
We get it, we just kinda don't by they aren't suggesting that — we bet they knew exactly what kind of controversy they were going to stir up. The kind of triggers they might set off in people who have lost family, friends, lovers, to other kinds of cancer.
It's tough, though. How can anyone call out anyone who is actively trying to raise awareness and save lives? Regardless of their method, the PCA's heart is in the right place.
The PCA said this in a different response:
"With a limited budget, it was vital that the advert would stand out and provoke thought. [It conveys] how it feels to be diagnosed with a disease that leaves you with no hope at all."
Wouldn't the staggeringly awful statistics, bold enough for everyone to see and read, be enough?
Because here they are:
- Only 3% will survive because of late diagnosis
- Most will die in 4 to 6 months
- It's the UK's 5th biggest cancer killer
Shouldn't that be enough to provoke thought, without provoking controversy?
Apparently a 200 percent increase in web traffic — good or bad — means that it worked regardless.
Full video ad (below).