"Screening is Seeing" ad by American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is pulled

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A national spokesperson for the ACS CAN office confirmed late today that the “Screening is Seeing” ad that I criticized on this blog yesterday has now been pulled.

The spokesperson said, “It would be unfortunate if, in trying to raise awareness about this critical issue, a brief, powerful message in the ad became the story rather than the issue itself.”

It has become clear to me within the last 24 hours that the ad was not universally embraced within the American Cancer Society and that there was significant agreement with the stance I took in criticizing the ad.

More to come on this as it becomes available.

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Comments (6)

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Roshan

August 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Knowing CAN is an advocacy arm of ACS, I understand why CAN would want to forcefully advocate for an issue that it strongly supports. The objective of this ad was to make a point, convey a message succinctly coinciding with the 20th anniversary of this CDC sponsored program.
It is perhaps unrealistic for HealthNewsNews and Prof. Schwitzer to expect that level of scientific complexity be carried by an ad.
After all, it is an ad not a peer-reviewed article.

Gary Schwitzer

August 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Roshan,
Thanks for sharing your opinion, which I respect.
But it wouldn’t take much for an ad to clarify WHICH screening it was referring to. I wasn’t looking for “scientific complexity” as you say. I was looking for clarity and specificity. It doesn’t require a peer-reviewed journal article to do that.
In the eyes of some authorities at the American Cancer Society, the criticism that I leveled was worthy of some action, given that they pulled the ad. If one little blogger made criticisms that didn’t resonate, didn’t hit home, weren’t on the money, would the powerful agency have pulled its ad?
I think not.

Jeff Kreisberg

August 13, 2010 at 9:15 am

I expect this type of behavior from big pharma, not the ACS. I cringe every time I hear sports radio personalities reading ads from urology groups telling men to “step up to the plate” and be screened for prostate cancer! This is dangerous stuff!