The Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust which is part of Britain’s National Health Service has managed to offend everyone with its recent birth control ads displayed at bus shelters.
The two ads appeal to people’s most selfish and consumerist desires to avoid parenthood with two ads asking “Would you give up this?” with a picture of either a video game controller or a roll of lipstick and pair of high heels; then “For this?” followed by a baby pacifier. The ad finishes by stating for the video game controller that free condoms are available and for the lipstick and heels says that emergency contraception is available five days after unprotected sex.
The ad has offended feminists for claiming that women cannot still have fun while being a mother with Kirstie from West Midlands telling the Daily Mail ‘It’s sexist because it doesn’t understand women, it implies if you are a mother you have to give up certain things’ and she couldn’t believe such an ad was approved ‘The fact that it went through so many people before being displayed is another thing that made me so mad’.
Conservatives and pro-lifers have labelled the ads as promoting an anti-parent mindset with the blessing of motherhood and fatherhood trashed and abortion been implied as an acceptable solution. Right to Life UK tweeted that the ad perfectly “captures the narcissistic hedonism, and psychotic selfishness, of the ideology surrounding the normalized destruction of unborn children”.
🤦🏻♀️ 😢 This picture of an NHS advert for potentially ‘#contragestive’ drugs (HT our friend @DavQuinn of @IonaInstitute, captures the narcissistic hedonism, and psychotic selfishness, of the ideology surrounding the normalised destruction of unborn children: pic.twitter.com/sbUfHSZb27
— Right To Life (@RightToLifeUK) September 14, 2018
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has defended the advertisements with its Divisional Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health, Nicola Wenlock being quoted as saying they had “played an important role in tackling teenage pregnancy and poor sexual health in our local area which has been reducing steadily year on year” but did apologize “if this particular advertisement has raised a concern” and they “will continue to review all materials closely for future campaigns”. Despite the clearly gendered nature of each ad they still denied this was case “posters do not refer to gender”.
Given that a government agency has spent taxpayers’ money on an advertising campaign that has offended almost every group in society one would hope that there is some sort of review into how such campaign came to funded and to stop such inappropriate expenditures being undertaken in the future.