invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

“ransom note” ads canceled December 20, 2007

Filed under: mental illness,news,suicide — clementine @ 1:18 pm
Tags: , ,

Thousands emailed and the NYU Child Study Center responded-they pulled the ransom notes ad campaign. Sometimes our voices are heard…and not ignored.

From the New York Times:

The Child Study Center at New York University said on Wednesday that it would halt an advertising campaign aimed at raising awareness of children’s mental and neurological disorders after the effort drew a strongly negative reaction.

Disorders like autism, depression, bulimia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder were the focus of the pro bono campaign.

The two-week-old campaign, created pro bono by the advertising agency BBDO, used the device of ransom notes to deliver ominous messages concerning disorders like autism, depression, bulimia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The note about autism, for example, read: “We have your son. We will make sure he will no longer be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives.”

Advocates for children with autism and for other special-needs children said the ads reinforced negative stereotypes.

“While many individuals spoke to us about the need to continue the campaign, inadvertently we offended others,” said Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, the Child Study Center’s founder and director, who estimated that he had received 3,000 e-mail messages and phone calls. Thirty percent of those praised the initiative, he said, and 70 percent expressed anger and hurt.

 

nyu ransom ads December 18, 2007

This past week The New York University Child Study Center introduced a public service campaign to raise awareness of what Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, the center’s founder and director, called “the silent public health epidemic of children’s mental illness.” Their plan to bring awareness consists of running ads that read like ransom notes.

From the NYU Child Study Center website:

“The idea behind the “Ransom Notes” is that, all too often, untreated psychiatric disorders are holding our children hostage. These disorders rob children of the ability to learn, make and keep friends and enjoy life.”

Dr. Koplewicz told the New York Times the campaign was inspired by filmed conversations of parents and children talking about life with a psychiatric disorder. “These families felt their children were trapped by their disorders.” The ads began running last week in New York magazine and Newsweek as well as on kiosks, billboards and construction sites around New York City.

We have your son. We will make sure he will no longer be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives. This is only the beginning…Autism.

We are in possession of your son. We are making him squirm and fidget until he is a detriment to himself and those around him. Ignore this and your kid will pay…ADHD

We have your son. We are destroying his ability for social interaction and driving him into a life of complete isolation. It’s up to you now…Asperger’s Syndrome

We have your daughter. We are forcing her to throw up after every meal she eats. It’s only going to get worse…Bulimia

We have your daughter. We are making her wash her hands until they are raw, everyday. This is only the beginning…OCD (more…)