Never before has a TV commercial made me so outraged. The Heart & Stroke Foundation’s new TV ad Make Health Last. What will your last 10 years look like? (Shown Above) creates a clear picture that if you take care of yourself you will live a long and happy life and if you don’t you will pay the consequences. Whether it was intended or not it also clearly portrays a good guy and a bad guy. The good guy being the fit, healthy, active man and the bad guy being the man that didn’t take care of himself and is now connected to machines and devises, suffering.
So why do I find this ad so appalling? My father is a twelve time… count that… 12 time Ironman Triathlon finisher, never drank, never smoked, rode bikes and trained daily and all around lived a very healthy lifestyle. About ten years ago he had a minor heart problem and was put on medication after trying every natural alternative. That cocktail that he was prescribed to help with his heart heavily contributed to the destruction of his kidney’s which has inevitably resulted in him ending up on dialysis 5 days a week and on an increased cocktail of medication at the age of 68. How dare you portray my father as the bad guy when he did everything in his power to always do the right thing.
I saw him last night after he had come off a frustrating attempt at dialyzing and asked him if he had seen this ad and what he thought of it. The mere mention of it almost brought him to tears and sent both him and my mother into outrage. We know what the attempt was of the ad but the execution was horrible. While my father’s case is obviously very personal to myself and my family I am sure there are countless others out there who have led good, healthy, active lives and through no fault of there own have ended up in positions of poor health. To make those people feel as though they have done something wrong, or that it was their fault and to paint them as a “bad guy”… shame on you!
Last year I raised 300% of my goal for the Heart & Stroke Foundations Ride for Heart and was looking forward to bettering that for this year. Now, myself nor anyone in my family will ever donate another penny to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. There isn’t a chance in hell that I will donate money so it can be used to fund advertising that is so offensive to my father and my family. Truthfully, I want my money back!
The sooner this ad is off the air, the better.