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A 2002 television ad by the Hospital Employees’ Union citing the grim effects of privatization in health care has won a prestigious award sponsored by the American Association of Political Consultants.
“Disturbing Results”, a 30-second spot recounting the poor track records of private corporations bidding for contracts at B.C. hospitals, received the second place prize in the international category for this year’s Public Affairs “Pollie” Awards. The ad was produced by Vancouver-based NOW Communications Group Inc.
In the controversial ad, examples of unsanitary practices in other jurisdictions—fecal-smeared laundry, dirty scrubs dumped near food trays, and a finger found in a sandwich—are followed by the question “Can it happen here?” and the comment, “Gordon Campbell’s plans for health care have already had some disturbing results.”
HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt says the ad contributed to an important public debate about the B.C. Liberals’ health privatization plans.
“Two years later the ad’s message has proven to be prophetic,” says Allnutt. “Within just months of health authorities privatizing support services, incidents not unlike those appearing in our ad have been reported in the media.”
Ron Johnson, president of NOW Communications, agrees.
“We’re very proud of our work on this ad and of the role it played in supporting HEU’s campaign against health care privatization,” he says. “It was part of a very effective campaign that moved public opinion significantly on this issue.”
“Disturbing Results” was up against stiff competition at the highly coveted Pollies, whose domestic categories feature some of the most powerful forces in U.S. political advertising. The awards were given out last week in Las Vegas.
The American Association of Political Consultants is a bipartisan organization of U.S. political professionals from the local level to the White House. Its membership includes political and media consultants, pollsters, campaign managers, corporate public affairs officers, professors, fund-raisers, lobbyists, congressional staffers and vendors.
to watch "Disturbing Results".
Contact: Mike Old, communications director, HEU, 604-828-6771 (cell)
Ron Johnson, president, Now Communications Group, 604-682-5441