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January 2013

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I keep seeing this really annoying commercial promoting awareness of cervical cancer, and how it can strike anyone.  Have y'all seen it - the one w/the girl texting a friend while she waits for said friend to join her for drinks?  The unseen friend texts that a third friend can't make it, girl on-screen sends tacky text about what a pussy that friend is being (I paraphrase), and then is appropriately shaken when the responding text says, "Actually, she was told today she has cervical cancer."  (Again, I paraphrase.)

Solid concept, I just personally find the execution waaaaay too flippant.  The whole texting bit is obviously an attempt to drive home the point that cervical cancer can happen to women of any age - even 20-somethings living the "hip, urban life" (obvious sarcasm used there.)  And yes, I feel qualified to criticize the ad's execution, since advertising paid the bar bills in my 20's.

Please note that I only take exception to the TONE of this particular ad ... because it was the first thing that popped in my head when my husband told me a dear friend of his was diagnosed today with cervical cancer.  She's far too young for this, and is completely gobsmacked - because she's always shown up for her yearly GYN appt and thought that was all she needed to do.  I wanna see the commercial that actually tells young women what they should be doing to stay protected and informed, rather than just reading the words "cervical cancer" on our tv screens! 

I'm all about awareness, having lost too many loved ones to various cancers.  Most of MY friends - and Scott's - appreciate the gravity of such a diagnosis; that's why I can't think of a single justification for giving an awareness campaign like this such a shallow, "ooo, relatable situation" treatment.  I realize I'm taking a simple commercial WAY too personally.  It just pains me to see money being spent so ineffectively, when you take into account the fact that money being allocated for this particular PSA campaign at all is a pretty fucking big deal.

Seriously ... I wonder what went down in that client meeting: 

"Let's make the cute, fun-loving gal sitting alone in a bar feel like an insensitive bitch after learning via text msg
that her friend has cervical cancer!  Yeah!  All those 25 to 39 yr/olds we're targeting are totally gonna be inspired
to keep their next pap appt after seeing how shitty it feels to innocently text 'where the fuck are you guys?',
only to find out (again, can't stress enough the hatefulfulness of the text msg conceit here)
your drinking buddy has a particularly insidious form of cancer!"
At least the PSAs are being made, money is being spent and I pray the message is being received.  Because when I think of the millions of dollars spent ramming Gardisil down our thoats only to find later that it may actually increase young women's chances of developing cervical cancer, I am amazed and incredibly thankful that the disease is even being spotlighted at all.