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Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

39 REPLIES 39
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Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I can endorse many of the views expressed in this thread. I see the ad as one more assault on the notion that improved survival rates means always surviving cancer free...if there are to be adequate resources allocated to help those with mets., as they journey on, then the public need to come to the slow and steady realisation that there is much ongoing care and treatment to be funded. Just like the bcc camapign for more recognition of the needs of those with secondaries this seems to me to be trying to be another subtle salvo in that war of attrition. I applaud it but hate it in equal measure (!), but one is an intellectual response and the other emotive - and- as I'm a mix of both, I think I'll have to live with it.Certainly, my daughter(27) loathes it when it comes on but I have persuaded her that we have to accept there will be such moments. Personally we mute it and turn away...It will be interesting to see if there is any media pick-up on the special day for sec.bc (13th) in October.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

There are many issues here to comment upon.
Firstly, I agree with the watershed point - if this ad were played later then many of the objections from parents of young children would be addressed.
Secondly, although it's about Cancer, it's still an ad and the purpose of an effective ad is to prompt a reaction - to raise awareness, to raise money or to make us buy chocolate. If it didn't have that emotional grab it wouldn't be an effective ad. Sadly, just leaving buckets around for donations just doesn't do it.
Thirdly, I am a primary (so far) and was really pleased that Secondaries were addressed. That fulfilled a few objectives. It brought home to the non-affected that there's still a long way to go and that too many still suffer extended unpleasant, painful treatments and yet still die. Further, it is still necessary to educate the numpties who assume we're all "cured", should "get over it" and "get back to normal". I agree that the icy grab at your heart is not pleasant but it's necessary to reach the non-affected and I beleive they are the target market for the ad, not us.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

This is a great thread thanks for starting it, it's really good to read how everybody feels on issues like this.

I personally think the ads are great very emotional but get the point across. The mirror one with the daughter on her wedding day gets me every time. And the kids i do think they don't need to see it and would hopefully be just as good after the watershed.

I really agree with jeannie earlier on in the thread about misdiagnosis, i would love them to get that message in the ads somewhere. I'm really surprised how many people on this site have been misdiagnosed.

Love jaynexx

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I think they are very good at grabbing the publics attention, which obviously Macmillan are aiming to do, with these their adds. They are extremely thought provoking too. As a cancer sufferer now (why is that so hard to write?)it never fails to give me a jolt and make me feel teary. I will echo, however, what others on here have said regarding children, I can imagine the anxiety it might induce in a child with a mum who has breast cancer. Like Debs says it might be better if they were shown after the watershed when hopefully younger children would be in bed

Cancer is a serious subject so I suppose it needs to get that point across.

Laurasue

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

To add to my post above - think it must be worse if you do have children as you probably find it distressing for them as well as you (hope that's not too sweeping or presumptuous a statement from me who has no kids).

Perhaps it is something that can be defined by primary/secondary status to some extent as those of us with secondaries live with it as a reality every day.

I still think they are good adverts though.

Guest
Not applicable

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Hi, I don't mind the adds,and as Elaine says most of it is uplifting,and I think it is very important to tell the reality that it can come back.If it raises lots of money for research and awareness that can only be a good thing. 🙂

Also I might add that I am nearly 3 years from diagnosis and can remember whilst going through treatment I too would feel upset at the cancer adds I think this was because it was real for me and my family.I didn't think they shouldn't be on TV,it was just upseting.

I don't have secondaries (as far as I know)

Best wishes Mel xx

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Debs - completely agree about children.

finty x

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I've not seen the advertisment(s) as I don't watch TV, but I do remember the Mirrors campaign. Overall I agree with Horace that I would rather a realistic campaign than the pink 'n fluffy option. There is a lot of media coverage about BC and treatment success/survival rates, so - in the minds of the public at large - its starting to move dangerously into the area of cancer "lite" where people don't consider it to be a killer.

Nevertheless, I do agree with those who have expressed unhappiness that their children can see it during their normal TV viewing schedule. Surely the ad could be scheduled for only past the watershed viewing, as children are hardly the ones fundraisers are seeking to capture.

Debs x

[edited to add: I'm a primary girl, so seem to be bucking the trend spotted by Elaine. It could be because I've not seen the ads, but I think its more likely because I have a nasty habit of looking in the dark places, to make sure I can deal with whatever may come my way]

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

We seem to be falling into two quite distinct camps-those of us who don't mind (myself included- and who tend to have secondaries), and those who do object-who are almost all girls with primary diagnoses! I find this quite suprising in some respects-but perhaps in view of all we have to deal with on a daily basis of living with secondaries, an advert on tv is not going to upset us to any great degree. Not sure why the primary girls are so against it-most of the messages conveyed are uplifting, showing that there is still life after cancer-of course you don't want to be reminded that it could come back-but surely none of you need an advert to bring that thought into your minds. If anyone has a better idea for these adverts, please share, as I think they will be part of campaigning for a long time to come. It's easy to complain and criticise....not so easy to come up with a better alternative.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I agree with lizcat and Paul, there is no alternative. As a secondaries lady I imagine I am not alone here in always thinking about it anyway, so a TV add is the least of my worries - if it raises some money and awareness, all power to it.

finty x

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

There is quite a bit of information on the people featured in the ad on the cancer research website at http://aboutus.cancerresearchuk.org/what-we-do/our-new-tv-campaign/featured-stories/

The "it's come back" lady is Anne Sandeman. Her story is mentioned on the site above, so I'll not reproduce it here.

FWIW I can see how any campaigns like this can be upsetting for those involved, but cannot see a realistic alternative. The message I take from the ad is that huge progress has been made, but there is still work to do, and for that work they need money.

Paul.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Just to add my humble opinion. I think the ads are very well done, the CRUK one in particular as it is very 'normal' and 'ordinary' and something I think people will relate to.

I agree with horace that the charities are damned with their advertising if it's pink and fluffy/celebrity endorsed (esp bc) and damned if they take the more normal advertising line. At the end of the day, you can't please all of the people all of the time no matter what you advertise.

I just hope that the campaigns will continue to raise the money for the research that to a large extent has got a lot of us to make it this far.

Liz

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Sorry, bboonie, I think you have mis-understood. My concern over breastfeeding has been nothing to do with me getting bc. I eat well, exercise, all the rest, I know it wasn't me that gave it to myself.

I regret not being able to breastfeed them for my children's sakes. We are bombarded with information telling us how good it is for them. And I missed out on something I really wanted to do. My point was that the advertising campaigns about breastfeeding, leaflets in doctor's surgeries etc remind me regularly about my failure but they are necessary to inform and encourage something beneficial.

Like the Macmillan ones. (IMHO)

But thank you for your encouraging words, I do appreciate the sentiment 🙂
X
Rusty

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I have secondaries. I also find the Cancer Research ad hard to watch as it reminds me of my situation, and now usually turn over when it comes on, but I think it's quite good in that it shows that there has been progress in treating cancer but that there is a long way still to go. I don't find it as emotionally manipulative as I remember the mirrors ad being.
I'm not sure whether doing it in a way that didn't upset anyone would be as effective - but it may be that they do alienate some potential donors...

Anyway, best wishes to everyone.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I am finding it hard to watch, had my 9 year old ask me since I just finished Chemo if my bc will come back as well. I think I can identify with the Macmillan one more, coming through a day that didn't all revolve around bc feels like a big achievement at the moment!

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I can't agree ElaineD. When adverts are put on through the day when my children are watching and upset them all over again, that is not fair. I have secondaries, the reason I hated the Mirrors campaign was it made my boys think about me not being their to see them off to school. That isn't right to do that to my family. We have enough to cope with.

Maybe show secondary care and improvements, whatever but playing on the fear that most cancer patients have is for me is not acceptable.

Annik - I'm sorry that the advert hit a nerve as it did with me.

Best wishes

Paula

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Well said Horace! I swear whatever the charities do they will be castigated for their efforts. The ads are not targetted at us personally as individuals-rather they are seeking to convey the universal nature of cancer, which affects so many of us-and even more, if you add in our immediate families. Why can't we be glad that they are doing the best they can, under impossible circumstances, rather than seeing it as a personal attack on our vulnerability? As I said before-I have secondaries, so it doesn't get much worse than this-so please girls, if you don't like it-switch over for a few seconds. If it garners enough additional money to move research forward a little, then surely your discomfort is worth it?

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Hi Rustyharas
Do not beat yourself up about breast feeding. I breastfed all 3 of my children for over a year each. I have no family history of breast cancer or any other cancer so did not breast feed them for that reason, just that I tried it, liked it, and found it easy.

I have breast cancer, have had MX, chemo, rads and currently on herceptin.

We did NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to give ourselves cancer. Do not beat yourself with guilt. This is why I hate with a passion anti-cancer diets and anti-cancer if you hadn't done this that or anything else you would be cancer free. It is just bad luck that we have it, we could not have prevented it. If it was that simple and clear cut the NHS would not have to spend billions finding a cure, they could just hand you a diet sheet and give you advice on lifestyle if you didn't follow say to you well sorry its your fault you have it.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, but not everyone that smokes gets lung cancer and not everyone that doesn't smokes escapes it. So no so clear cut.

WE ARE NOT GUILTY OF GIVING OURSELVES CANCER WHATEVER OUR LIFESTYLE AND LIFE CHOICES.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I agree with most of the comments here. I have been diagnosed with early breast cancer, have had surgery and am now awaiting rad treatment, and like many of you I was very upset when viewing this advert. It did indeed touch a nerve deep down which I am trying not to think about. My problem with the advert is that, it targets those already affected by cancer, the very people who probably already give to cancer charities. Targeting those affected feels a bit like preying on the fears of people when they are most fragile. It,s message is "together we will beat cancer". Together - is everyone. I feel this advert alienates those who havent been affected and could be detrimental in encouraging them to donate. The ad's must be emotive to a certain extent to move people to donate, but targeting those already affected seems pretty low to me.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

It wasn't so much a complaint as a moan about how I feel in myself when I see them - I totally agree with their worth, I just find for me personally they 'strike a nerve' which, given my circumstances, I'd rather they didn't - but that's not to say I don't think they should not be run. I think it's by their very hard hittingness that they have their desired effet of reminding people of those they know who've suffered and maybe trigger them to do something - it was certainly one of the Race For Life ads which got me signed up for the first many years back before I was dx.

I'm glad - if thats the right word - that I'm not being selfish tho in being affected by them in a way other than that intended.

Nina

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

You know we complain if its 'pink and fluffy',we complain if it talks about 'the all-clear' and now we complain that the ad tells it like it is.There will always be someone to complain however a cancer charity words its ads.The really sad thing is the need to advertise at all.
Valx

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I too agree that they are upsetting but that is part of life. The adverts aren't aimed at me. I am aware of the issues, i am one of the ones affected. My dad died of cancer 20 years ago this week at the age of 52. He never met my husband or my children. That's very sad.

I am sure that when the adverts were designed they took into account that lots of people would be affected by it, just decided it was worth the pain to them. I think it is, if it means my children might not have to go through what I have/ am.

When each of them was born I was desperate to breastfeed, but my body let me down and I couldn't produce any milk. It still causes me pain to see the constant adverts telling me how important it is that I should have breast fed my children, how much it would have protected them. How much i failed them....

Every time I see a motor bike I remember my first boyfriend who was killed at 17 whilst riding his....

I am luckier than a lot of people. My bc is treatable, I live in a wealthy western country, I have support and love on all sides.... I count my blessings, even if the advert makes me cry.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I would like to make a comment here. At 47yrs young had mx , chemo and now on the rads route. I find the ads very emotional and they upset me every time they are on the tv, but I "do" feel they are important. Macmillan has supported me through the bad bits and like everybody on or off here there work at research and fund raising helps people like you and me. Thankyou Macmillan.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Daffy, I too remember those adverts and how upsetting they were. My mother died of cancer 10 days after I got married, so it hit a nerve. And the new adverts aren’t comfortable to watch either. But cancer isn’t comfortable – that’s the whole point. When I was dx a lot of people said how many people they knew who had survived it and were still clear. My experience is the opposite, unfortunately. There is a lot in the media about the positive side of cancer now – how survival is better, new treatments etc. And that’s good, because it shows the research is having a positive effect. But many people still die of it and that is the reality. There is a lot more work to be done and that needs cash.

I know we are all very sensitive to these adverts because of our own experiences, but I think they are truthful, powerful tools and, whilst they make me go cold when I watch them, I don’t have a problem with them as I feel they are done sensitively. I agree with you Heather, if it means more people put their hands in their pockets and fund much needed research, then I think it’s worth it. And if it’s too awful to watch, switch over for a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, life in general is full of reminders of our situations and we do have to learn to deal with them.

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Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I have metastatic disease and find the advert uncomfortable to watch but completely support the powerful message that it puts across. The lady at the end reminds me how scared i felt when i got my secondaries diagnosis, but probably in part down to the treatments developed by Cancer Research UK im still here with inactive disease and am asymptomatic (i also havent been on chemo since January 2009).

If the advert can help raise money to develop more treatments which will enable more people with secondaries to live longer with a better quality of life then im all for it.

Heather

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I can't comment on this advert as I haven't seen it. I stopped watching television a couple of years ago due to The Cancer research 'Mirrors' campaign. I am sure you will recall it if you saw it. It was people looking into a mirror and the person that they had lost would appear, like a bride getting ready on her wedding day looking in the mirror. The one that got me was the young boy looking in the mirror getting ready for school and he remembers his mum and sees her in the mirror.

I had a huge run in with Cancer research about this advert and a lot of people found it extremely upsetting. I polled them on a forum. I decided then that I wouldn't ever give any money even though I have cancer myself. I don't like emotional blackmail.

The outcome was that the advertising standards agency said that if it was not a charity advert it would not be allowed to air.

I am still feel very passionate about this advert, playing on people's losses. Yes they need money but hurting people isn't the way to go about it.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Already posted once here but just want to add that if it works and raises money and awareness then it's worth it; I just don't want to watch it.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I'm going to go against the trend here and say that I like the cancer research ad. It's a powerful message and very emotive for those of us faced with this disease but I find the "it's come back" message a useful one. Above all it is a reminder that although there are treatments for cancer and many people live cancer free after treatment the reality is that there is not yet a cure and for the unlucky ones it will rear its ugly head again. If that encourages people to make a donation then I can handle a few moments of upset.

I have just had my last chemo and all being well am finished with active treatment, I hope that the ad may make my friends and family stop and think before they make those remarks about my "being cured", "getting back to normal" and "putting it behind me". We all know that we can never be considered cured and have to live with the reality that it could return at any time.

The more funding for research then hopefully the more cancer patients will never have to hear those three terrifying words.

Linda
xx

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Hi all

My personal opinion is that how can we complain about media representation of bc and our annoyance at celebraties who are so called cured and then critise an advert which clearly expresses our greatest fear and the reason this disease is so hard on us- because will live with the prospect that it can come back.

What we need is a cure, a real testable- cure and it will take money from all of these charities to help us or our daughters get that peace of mind.

I dont want the world to think that because cancer survival rates are better now that we are all fine and once treatment is over then we should just move on. This site is full of women struggling to come to terms with life after bc.

I find watching the advert painful. But them I am on chemo and look like the woman at the end- I could be her one day. But with the help of adverts like this who say it like it is, money will be raised to save more lives and find us all some peace of mind.

debx

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

I don't like it either; I know they need to raise money and raise awareness about the realities of cancer but it's too close to home isn't it.
We don't watch tv often and the one night we decided to turn it on it was there! I was sat cuddled up to my OH on the sofa and on it came; big lumps in our throats and tears down my cheeks, we didn't say anything just hugged each other. I've not turned the tv on since and I think that was last Tuesday. Fortunately my son was in bed and think I'll stick to watching recordings in the future.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Most people said they thought the advert was very good. I didn't particularly like it and have made a point of not watching it on TV.

Here is what I said when I was asked for my opinion: "Thank you for giving me the chance of giving you my opinion on your advert. Overall, it’s fine but I did find it a little ordinary. And what about the people who go on to get secondaries/recurrences. Wouldn’t they find it frightening? After getting cancer this is one of the biggest fears – believe me I know as a four years misdiagnosed cancer patient. I would like to have seen something being said about personal awareness. Both age and awareness could have been incorporated into the advert. I think more people are likely to donate if they find it is also educating them. I thought that the sentence broken into bits by separate individuals requires an attention span that demands too much for an advert. An advert should be easy on the ear and eye, requiring little concentration; this requires a little too much attention."

There has been a lot around in the last couple of days about how wonderful the survival figures are. No mention of the misdiagnosed cases and the 1,000+ women that die every month.

Jeannie

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Hello
My sister died of breast cancer in 2003 and I had treatment for it in 2007-8. When I was having treatment I felt oppressed by the amount of cancer in the media - everywhere you went, couldn't get away from it. However, I accept that I was particularly sensitive to it at that moment in my life. I think the Cancer Research campaign is right to say it can come back, because so many people now get better from cancer that people don't think it's still a killer, which of course it is! We need a lot more research and funding... I thought they did it sensitively.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

My Mum actually rang Cancer reasearch to say how upsetting she found this ad. As somebody who has lost a husband and a son to cancer and now has to watch her daughter go through treatment for BC she finds it especially upsetting. As she says she knows they need to raise money but she sits and watches tv as an escape from her thoughts about cancer. I switch over when it comes on.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

The vast majority of this advert is very positive-with only one reference to metastatic disease. Nor are we told what type of cancer the lady who receives the bad news, actually has-it may be b.c., it may not. As one with secondaries, I find the message powerful, and positive-I'm permanently on treatments, and know all too well the horror of being told "it's come back" (or as my onc said, "it's not going away"). To those who object/don't like it-what message should they be giving out? Of course it is upsetting-dying from cancer is, but if ads like this can help in some small way to raise awareness/contribute towards finding a cure (albeit the latter may be many years distant), then I think a few moments of upset is a small price to pay. It's an emotive and powerful advert, which tells it exactly as it is- the "it's back" message is one which I hope none of you ever need to hear-that's far more upsettting than a fictional portrayal.

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Hi Ladies,
Yes l too don't like this advert, yes we know it brings it into the light and hopefully it is doing what it is inteded to do with regards to getting the support it so very dearly needs.
But for those sitting with their families young or old, when the bit where it says 'its come back' sends a shiver through my body, if l sitting here by myself l turn the volume down, othewise l start talking, or leave the room, yes of course the family know why l do it, just all too sensitive for me!
I am sure they could make an advert getting through to people, without getting into the minds of those suffering with this dreadful illness
Hugs
Sandra x

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Hi, I don't like this ad either, especially the "it's come back". I know that it's the reallity for some, but I find it depressing and not necessary.
Carolx

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Hi folks,
Sitting watching it with my 13 year old son, I almost feel like I have to say to him "my cancer's not like that" or "....not too bad" to protect him and myself from worrying.
Now I have finished surgery X2, I keep telling myself that I "had" cancer even though I have chemo and radiotherapy to come and my tumour was 7cm square. I feel like I am not really going through this and am fine, almost like I am pretending! As I'm typing this it sounds like I am mad, so please forgive me.
I even feel like I am "wagging it" from work! Perhaps I am in some kind of denial?????
Anyway it's stupid o clock again... sleep eludes...just been on pee duty with dogs.
Bye for now and take care
Sallyann XXX

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

No Broomsticklady, you're not the only one!
I feel exactly the same and I know it affects our families who are also watching the tv alongside us...
Stella

Member

Re: Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

Came back from my fist chemo today. Was watching tv with my son and this ad came on. I got really upset after the 'it's come back' bit. It made my cry , in the living room, in front of my son, and i have been strong all day...
They repeated it soon after.
I never want to watch it again. I want to be relaxing watching TV, not reminded of all this sh*t. (sorry)

Member

Cancer research and Macmillan TV ads

No problems with them - they're great at raising awareness and presumably fund raising - just am I the only one who gets a big lump in my throat and all the 'negative' thoughts I've been locking away come flooding back to the surface? And then I feel guilty for feeling that way!!