Zeppa, I put other, Online, Tube stations, Magazines, Newspapers, which is where these ADs are , the ASA investigates posters and articles in print, though have no powers with online ADs. The ads are on display in the London Underground, tube cars and in the Metro and Evening Standard newspapers.Best magazine had an article about "I wish I had breast cancer" last week also .
We are continuing to read this thread and have let our press team know about the conversations going on here. In addition we have also highlighted this thread with the team at PCA.
It is good to see that you all feel able to share your opinions about the PCA campaign and how supportive you are to one another.
I do not have secondary BC, but on seeing this advert I felt sick to the bottom of my stomach. I can't believe the insensitivity of Ms Stunt, yes it is important to get the word out about PC but not at the expense of BC and testicular cancer. Ms Stunt admits that she wished for controversy, well she did indeed achieve that.
A total slap in the face to all of us.
Have made my complaint to ASA and also received the same email, agree entirely that those truly disgusting words need to be removed. Nobody wants any sort of cancer..........
Gloria Hunniford conducted the interview with great restraint, you could tell she was seething.
I wish that you, the secondary ladies do have your chance to publicly address Ms Stunt, as it is, she just doesn't get it?? or if she does, what kind of person is she?
All the very best to you all and fingers crossed that you have your say. xx
I wonder if BCC would be able to arrange some type of national exposure with a secondary Breast Cancer Patient and even possibly Ali Stunt ,Or one of the ladies in the AD campaign to be aired on TV, to let them and the world know more about secondary breast cancer ,and how this repugnant AD Campaign has affected everyone and caused so much distress to them and their families, all the interviews so far have been very one sided , but maybe when faced with a terminal breast cancer patient, they will be forced to see how all this has been ill thought out and very wrong.
And also as Angelfalls says , please everyone on the forums , take time to make an official complaint to the ASA . Secondary breast cancer badly needs to be brought to the publics attention, This affects everyone with breast cancer,even those currently dx with primaries like myself, because lets face it , today's primary is tomorrows secondary , we ALL need to stand up and be counted together.
I too have noticed that nobody with stage 4 cancer has been asked for their opinion about the ad.
I thought Gloria was very restrained and compassionate under the circumstances, but Ms. Stunt
would not address or even acknowledge the harm she has caused.
The only reply she seems to come out with is that anyone who is offended has misunderstood the true meaning and that if we understood we would all be happy with the campaign - deluded woman. There is quite a difference between what Kerry meant and what she said and I feel that what she said was based on shock, fear and ignorance. I also wonder what kind of person has these envious thoughts. (edited to not be so mean):smileyembarrassed:
I am also apalled at the attitude of some of the supporters' comments on FB and feel almost millitant about the whole thing but have put so many posts on their FB page that I think I might be in danger of being banned.
Thank you Cornishgirl for the link. And thank you also to Gloria Hunniford for the interview as this must have been extremely difficullt and distressing for her - she came across very informative, balanced and caring - unlike Ali Stunt who kept banging on about "raising awareness" .
I am so sorry to hear about your wife Rob. I cannot imagine the pain you must be going through watching her suffer and also how worried you must be for both her and your little girl. To have to deal with the insensivity of PCA's campaign on top of would make anybody rightly angry. I hope your wife is painfree and you are getting the support you need as a family at this awful time.
I saw an article recently article about the "outrage" people felt when they saw a mum posting her mastectomy scars. I would say we could send this onto PCA but I suspect they would reply back with some insensitive comment, such as "Well at least she is still alive!" This is what has made me so angry - the total insensitivity of this global statement. I know it has angered many people, and let us not forget that they have used this tagline for Testicular Cancer and Cervical Cancer as well - which has caused much offence to those affected by these cancers as well I am sure.
During the interview, a valid point is made in that, given these are "true statements" of people diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer,but these statements were made at the most distressing time for these people - for anyone hearing a cancer diagnosis it is terrifying, scary and traumatic. However, I do not know of anyone that I have known with cancer, to say "Well I am glad its ..... and not Pancreatic Cancer" I am sorry I don't know anyone who would or could make that statement. To play one cancer off against another is a shameful marketing device for shock tactics. As we all know, for ladies with Stage 4 Metastic Breast Cacner, the statitsics are grim, funding is inadequate and it is not curable. Equally for other cancers that have spread. Like everyone on this forum, I have lost loved ones, friends and families, to Breast Cancer. It is not preferable to get Breast Cancer, over any other cancer. And what has also angered me is the insensivity of Ali Stunt when she explains the rationale behind this campaign and I quote " she was telling me how grueling her treatment was and how difficult it was to cope with the diagnosis. While I was sympathetic and empathetic, I did find it very hard to listen to her tell me about how tough it was and that the side effects of her treatment were awful (which they were). I understood as, after all, I too was undergoing chemotherapy. I couldn’t help but think every now and then, “it’s alright for you, you have an 85% chance that you will still be here in five years time – while my odds are only 3%."
Perhaps I am a bit too close to this (having Breast Cancer and all!) but yes the treatment is gruelling, the chemotherapy is horrendous, the physical and emotional scars are awful, the pain and suffering for the patient and their loved ones is unimaginable, and not to mention the daily difficulty of living with scars and lifelong conditions from side effects of toxic therapy and surgical procedures - but (reading between the lines),these are OK becuase we are lucky as we have - potentially - 85% survivability! So that's alright then!
Statistics do not paint the whole picture. Yes the survival rates are much better for those diagnosed early (With any cancer I might add) ie Stage 1. Stage 2 it drops and so on. And we ALL have to live with the fear that at any point it may return. So yes, if we are handing out badges in irony, I guess we are lucky. Ms Stunt, try telling that to Rob and his family, or my nieces who lost their mum at age 11+12, or my friend's Margaret family, Or Michelle and her family, or my neighbour that lost her best friend on Monday!!!!!!!!!! Or my family - my husband has watched his sister die from Breast Cancer and both his Mum and his Wife go through treatment - but it's ok because it's only silly, pink, fluffy, Breast Cancer!!!!!!!! All I can say is ... Be careful what you wish for...... None of us are immune from cancer, ANY cancer - it touches everyone affected and we all suffer at its hands, and no-one should be made to feel unimportant or that their suffering is irrelevant or belittle becuase they "just" have breast cancer and not something more serious.
Sorry rant over. PCA I stand by my original comment - YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES.
Well said Gloria Hunniford, and thank you so much for speaking out , Ali Stunt you are beyond awful, I cannot even bear to listen to you. Your lack of compassion towards others is breathtaking .
This interview on newsnight must have been so difficult for Gloria Hunniford.
Just wanted to let you all know we are following this thread and it is our intention to be in touch with PCA to highlight this discussion and express our concerns.
Rob, our thoughts are with you. If you do need additional support or just to talk things through please do give the BCC helpline a call on 0808 800 6000. Lines are open weekdays 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.
Best wishes Sam, Moderator
My heart go's out to you and your family , I read your letter that was reposted on here and found it utterly heartbreaking and cruel, I was appalled at how PCA had removed your post ,this cancer charity seems to have no compassion for anyone other than themselves, they don't seem to care who they hurt or what distress they cause to others , its disgraceful and unacceptable to act in the way they have.
Thank you for sharing their reply letter, It looks as insensitive and dismissive as their awful campaign , how Ali Stunt can sleep at night I don't know, surely no one can be that callous and uncaring, I'm just lost for words .
I think the fact that they have removed all the comments made by breast cancer patients and their families on their website, just shows their total lack of care and understanding of how much they have hurt others , PCA is a disgrace to other cancer sufferers , Like everyone else here I hope the ASA throw the book at them.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife and your little girl,
Love to you all, L xxx
Hello all: Rob Bearpark here. I am using my wife's log in code as she was active on the forums a couple of years ago (you may know here as Millikins01). After draining nearly four liters of fluid off her lung she has rallied, so we have her for a little bit longer, although treatment is over and the cancer is now overtaking her lungs, liver, spine, lymph nodes and hips. I saw that someone reposted in this thread the message that I left for this vile organisation, but they continually remove it from their site. I fully understand they are in no way interested in the feelings or opinions of others, but as I am now posting in a community that I know cares about ALL victims of cancer I thought I would add to the message as I did receive a reply from PCA. I wrote back to them to them, but they have not bothered to reply to this second message:
On Thursday, I drove to the hospital to spend my last few days with my terminally ill wife, (hoping she had made it through the night) and wondering if I would be strong enough to tell my 7 year old daughter that Mummy was about to die. With this in my head, I heard news on the radio of this truly sickening campaign. What the hell was Ali Stunt thinking when she created this vile campaign other than "Oh poor me, I have the very worse disease ever and no-one has ever or could ever suffered as much as me”. Pathetic and Sickening!!!! I have news for you Ali, other people are suffering too and more so now due to YOU! If you wanted publicity this much and didn’t care who you hurt then she should have used photos of Jews being murdered at Auschwitz, or maybe Princess Diana’s bleeding corpse, then compare survival rates against that. The breast cancer community is strong and numerous, and has been rightly outraged by this. It has always tried to bring all sufferers and carers together against the common enemy of cancer, not childishly attacking other victims. My wife is being killed by a particularly nasty type of breast cancer known as “triple negative”, which has far higher death rates than most other types. At no point have we or would we ever use this against other fighting their own battles.
The website shows that this group gets support from State owned RBS and I am hopeful that the breast cancer community will mobilise to prevent further funding of an organisation so lacking in empathy and care for anyone outside of itself.
Oh yes Ali, my wife’s chance of surviving five years is 0%.
Subject: Our heartfelt apologies
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 21:12:53 +0000
First of all, I'd like to say how sorry I am to hear that your wife is facing her final days. I can't imagine what you and your family are going through right now.
I would not want to burden you with our rationale for the advert but can I say it was not our intention to offend anyone.
We wish you all the best in the coming weeks and I do hope you have all the support you need around you.
With best wishes,
Pancreatic Cancer Action
Chiltlee Manor | Haslemere Road | Liphook | Hampshire | GU30 7AZ
Tel: 0303 040 1770 (the cost of a local call no matter where you are in the UK)
Registered Charity No. 1137689
As to you understanding what I am going through, I do not know you own personal story or fight against cancer you have gone through, but by your reply it is clear that by continually defending your organisation you have no idea of the sickening offence that this campaign has caused to venerable people at their lowest point in life.
Please burden me further with the full rational for your deeply offensive actions (we both know I called it right in my original message- "poor me"!). As I said in that message, more cheap publicity and offence could have been achieved in many other ways, as long as you remember to say "it was not my intention to offend" after every one of the vile comments.
Most of my family have died at a young age of varying kinds of cancer, I rarely bother to remember the type, just that they died of cancer and in all cases, very quickly (my family survival rate over five years is 0%, with most dying within 6 months). I will continue to support ALL victims of this horrible disease, not just the ones that have ruined my life and will never try to score points against others and claim I am the only one suffering. However, some organisations , (such as yours) that look to divide the community, do not deserve funding. The tax payer backed bank RBS bank funds your organisation (at the moment!!!) and I am contacting them to see if they are happy with how their money is being spent.
I understand that as a worker of this organisation, you have no choice but to defend a policy that you realise is WRONG. I do not believe that any person willing to dedicate their time to helping others would ever agree to such a hurtful tactic to gain publicity. Furthermore, the publicity hungry founder of your group is not interested in the pain she has caused and gets others to deal with the thousands she has outraged. There are many other pancreatic cancer charities around that could do your work and I believe that money could be better used to help others rather than upset other cancer victims.
During my wife's fight I have met hundreds of sufferers of many different cancers. Not one of them has ever envied or belittled another's fight, just sympathised and understood what we are all going through. I am being supported by various organisations, none of which has treated me any differently because of my wife's type of cancer.
To let you know, in the evening I was able to inform my daughter of Mummies oncoming death, but it took longer than I expected as I lost control at one point and fell onto the floor screaming for several minutes. You need to be aware that I don't think that the news would have been any less painful to her or I, had she been killed by another primary, but I'm sure your organisation feels differently......
Yes I saw part of the interview 2catlady, and I felt desperately sorry for the lady, just as I feel desperately sorry for everyone who will die from this awful disease, however I still do not agree with the terrible taglines in the AD, there is no justification for saying what they did , they are extremely insensitive and distressful to everyone who is suffering and will loose their lives to this vile disease , we must not pit off one cancer against another, we must not have cancer envy, all cancers are devastating and all cancers are killers.
I think the interview should have been more balanced with secondary breast cancer patients and testicular patients represented too to show how distressing this ad has been to them and their families., now the this morning facebook page comments all say they would much rather have breast cancer too, the damage has already been done, and breast cancer now will be seen more than ever as the best cancer to have.
Very Sad for all concerned.
I read Jenni Murrays article this morning and left a comment but it has not yet appeared, Like you Angelfalls I wondered why they also didn't wish for Melanoma ,as on their graph in the campaign Melanoma comes even slightly higher than breast cancer in terms of "perceived" survival rates,
I think PCA has deliberately chosen Breast Cancer because of its high profile and for the funds that it raises for research, what they fail to realize is that breast cancer is not given preferential funding, it is because of those people that tirelessly go out and fundraise for this disease ,breast cancer patients and their families , they don't seem to grasp that.
The founder of the 'Movember' movement noticed the success of breast cancer campaigns and copied it. He openly acknowledges his debt to (and admiration for) the hard work done by women around breast cancer. It inspired him to work similarly hard around the cancers he felt passionately about. And in 2011 Movember raised £22m in the 30 days of November in the UK alone.
PCA would be far better learning from what breast cancer has done , rather than thinking that the only way they can receive attention is by causing hurt and distress to many others with cancer with this new found "Cancer Envy" how can anyone be envious of another cancer?, its sickening , but I guess that shows their extreme insensitivity and lack of compassion for anyone else other than themselves.
I read a comment this morning from someone on the PCA facebook page , saying how when the dust settles "We breast cancer patients " will have to move on. I don't think so somehow, the damage has already been done. What is sad is, they really don't care.
This is utterly heartbreaking, PCA should be hanging their heads in shame, So cruel , I hope they now know the distress they have caused , my heart gos out to Rob and his family. x
My father died of pancreatic cancer when he was younger than I am now and never got to meet my wife or any of his grandchildren. However, I can’t imagine that he would have weighed up his pancreatic cancer against my wife’s breast cancer or belittled the possibility that she may not live to see her children grow up.
As he remained positive during the last few months of his life, I am sure that he would have fully approved of women making the most of their lives after breast cancer diagnosis. One of his favourite quotes was the Shakespearean joke “comparisons are odorous”. Very apt here, as the campaign by Pancreatic Cancer Action stinks! It also damages the cause it exists to promote.
I agree belinda, PCA knew exactly what they were doing, they wanted to make some noise and sadly it was at the expense of breast cancer patients, some of the comments on their facebook page has been awfull, I read one yesterday that said "It is about time people realize the horrific stats & get proper funding for research and a cure for 80-90% survival like BC- Do you think the BC folk want to share their exorbitant funds in ratio to survival? "
Who the hell do they think gets the funding for breast cancer , It is breast cancer patients and their families who get off their backsides and go out day after day,week after week ,and fundraise for this awful disease, BC was not given funding on a plate, its has taken decades to get where we are today, Movember has seen what breast cancer has done and have now done the same , Movember is now hugely successful, So many ignorant and ill informed comments from people who haven't got a clue about the true facts and realities of this disease.
There was no need whatsoever to include the words "I wish I had breast cancer " or "I wish I had Testicular cancer" in this Ad campaign, the graph on the campaign was surely enough, it was done deliberately in my opinion to cause controversy and distress at other peoples expense.
Im also disgusted at Macmillan for supporting this AD Campaign , Surely Macmillan should not approve of such divisive and distressing taglines to many of those people who they are supposed to be caring for.
All we can do now is hope that the ASA will uphold all the complaints, and force PCA to remove these distressing and insensitive comments .
Max Pemberton is a doctor, journalist and writer. He is based in London and works in mental health.
He is a columnist for The Daily Telegraph, writing weekly on news events concerning culture, social and ethical issues, the politics of health care and the NHS. He is also a columnist for Reader’s Digest and a regular contributor to the Mail On Sunday. He writes:
To raise awareness of their cause, charities jostle for space in an increasingly crowded market place and some have resorted to shocking and attention-grabbing tactics to get heard.
But the latest campaign from the UK charity, Pancreatic Cancer Action, has gone too far. In print messages and an online film, real patients reveal the stark facts about pancreatic cancer – that, despite it being the fifth most common cancer, survival statistics remain shockingly low at just 3 per cent. Then the patients who feature go one step farther, revealing that ”I’d rather have breast cancer’’.
Of course, I understand the sentiment behind this. It is a chilling fact that pancreatic cancer survival rates remain so low and have barely improved despite decades of research, in sharp contrast to other common cancers.
Regardless of wealth or status, pancreatic cancer is a near-death sentence. Sir James Goldsmith, Luciano Pavarotti, Patrick Swayze and the journalist Simon Hoggart are among those who have succumbed to the disease.
But is ”cancer envy’’ really the way to get this message across? I recently went to a talk arranged by the charity Breast Cancer Care to highlight the plight of those with terminal breast cancer. Around 48,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year and nearly a third of those will go on to develop the advanced form of the disease, which is terminal. Whilst early breast cancer receives substantial media interest, advanced breast cancer gets little attention, leaving sufferers feeling isolated and forgotten.
Imagine how those women, facing death, feel when they see or hear this campaign. The fact is that all cancer is awful. It disrupts lives, causes pain, suffering and death. Surely we don’t need to descend into a ”my cancer is worse than your cancer’’ competition in order to get a message across.