Dr. Val Jones’ Get Better Health site wrapped up our entire thread of posts on the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network ad campaign – from our original criticism through to Newsweek joining the analysis and on to ACS CAN pulling the ad.
“Kudos to Schwitzer for having an impact and reminding the ACS that data must drive our health care decisions and spending.The episode is a good reminder that blogs can have an impact.”
Lots of Twitter action on the topic.
“Wow! ACS shows real class. Kudos all round.”
Journalist Bill Heisel (a reviewer on HealthNewsReview.org) wrote:
“Stunning example of pen > sword.”
Physician-writer Ben Goldacre of the UK tweeted:
“Overstated cancer screening ad gets pulled after excellent blog post by @garyschwitzer.”
Of course, there are also many online comments left by readers – after each of our blog entries on this topic, on the Newsweek site’s blog post, and on MedPageToday.com, which is also re-posting our work. Not all of the comments agree with our stance – although most do. Regardless, we need to have a better public discussion about what’s incomplete and unhelpful about vague messages like the “Screening is Seeing” campaign conveyed. I know that some parties within the American Cancer Society agree with me and I would look forward to working with them in trying to improve these messages in the future.
But, as Mary Carmichael pointed out, ACS – or its arm of ACS CAN – took the right first step by pulling the ad.
Now let’s take a deep breath and try it again.