In response to Chris’ blog about the nurses having that ad pulled, I thought I’d post this story about what happened in Vancouver last month.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
VANCOUVER - A television ad for a Vancouver radio station is being pulled after nurses complained that it denigrated them.
Radio station Z95.3 agreed to pull the ad, which shows a group of nurses wearing skimpy outfits, dancing and singing in a Britney Spears-style music video. They continue to dance around the nursing station until an elderly patient calls out: “It’s time for my sponge bath.”
Several nurses complained about it in telephone calls and e-mails to the B.C. Nurses’ Union, said BCNU president Debra McPherson. She said they described the ad as degrading to nurses, sexually exploitive, and “sending the wrong message [about nurses] to the public.”
“Our members told us they were deeply offended to see nurses portrayed as willing to abandon their patients so they could sing and dance,” said McPherson.
The BCNU called Z95.3 a week ago to explain why nurses were insulted. The union also asked some of its 25,000 members to telephone, fax, and e-mail Z95.3, as well as the station’s owner, Standard Broadcasting, the ad creator, Rethink Communications, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
The station, which had originally planned to run the ad for another month, told the nurses on Tuesday it would pull the ad as requested.
According to a BCNU press release, station operations manager Eric Samuels went on air Wednesday to tell listeners he had heard from nurses “who are understandably sensitive as to how nurses are being portrayed in the media and feel very strongly that the commercial is disrespectful and sends out the wrong message.”
Samuels said callers “provided a very compelling point of view that had merit. Our intention was certainly to never belittle the nursing profession … on the contrary, we’re extremely aware of the challenges facing nurses who are being asked to do more with less.”
Samuels stated in a letter to the BCNU that "I would like to take this opportunity to express to any nurse who took offence to the ad, that it was never our intention to be disrespectful … however upon consideration, thanks to the communication of several extremely articulate nurses, we were made aware of their concerns, as well as the many issues facing the nursing profession.
“It is out of consideration and respect for the nursing profession that the ad has been pulled.”
McPherson said nurses have been trying for many years to rise above stereotypes.
“I hope other media outlets and advertising agencies take the lead from Z95.3 and reexamine the way they portray nurses, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because nurses are always willing to speak out when we see our profession denigrated.”