Saturday, August 15, 2015

BS Anderson...the sequel. As if to prove my point.

This shouldn't be hilarious, inasmuch as we're talking about life and death, but I confess to laughing so hard I almost fell off my chair when this ad for cancer research came on-screen mere minutes after the latest ad from MD Anderson, which we examined last time. Have a look:

So let's get this straight. On the one hand, if you already have cancer and Cancer Inc. wants your cash, you're gonna beat this. No worries! It's in the bag. You win! Cancer loses! On the other hand, if Cancer Inc. wants your cash for research, OMG, we're still at square one and without your continued support 94% of you will die! ... Oh, the humanity...!!

As noted in my original post on Anderson, the cure rates for pancreatic cancer rank among the worst in the realm, so I'm not that upset with Cranston and the respected organization for which he's stumping. The dire stats show that there's clearly a lot of work to be done in the battle against pancreatic cancer...and by the way, that same grim truth applies in the case other cancers as well. (Although interestingly, the 6% stat quoted in Cranston's ad is even more dire than the figure I got from the National Cancer Institute. Funny how that works, eh?) But if there's a lot of work to be done, how can a hospital like MD Anderson simply say, as a blanket statement, that their patients will beat the disease?

I certainly don't expect leading cancer hospitals to put out a message implying that most patients are apt to die. It's just, we could do with a bit more realism and a bit less (a lot less) hype. More disclosure, less delusion. This is why I don't think I'm nitpicking or being Mr. Insensitive when I attack these ads, or even when I attacked a prior iteration of such ads from Lynn Redgrave (and I got a lot of grief for that). If even 50% of patients succumb to a given disease within five years, it is just plain wrong, in my book, for a hospital to put out the message, COME TO US AND YOU WILL BEAT THIS. It is fraudulently wrong. It is b.s. and the hospital knows it. So why do we smile and get all gooey over such ads? As consumers, why aren't we outraged?

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