Starlight ad takes away kids’ dignity

Charity advertising is generally bombproof when it comes to criticism, but I wonder if the Starlight Children’s Foundation has gone too far with the half page ad in today’s Sun-Herald.  

starlightIt features two sad-looking children, both holding up hand-made signs saying “Choose me”, along with the heart-rending message: “With limited funds, we’ll have to choose which seriously ill child deserves happiness more.”

Yet my first reaction on seeing the ad is not the compassion one should feel, but anger at the emotional manipulation. By being asked to hold up the signs, it feels like the kids are being exploited in an entirely undignified way.

The fact that this is an organisation that recently helped spend nearly $15m on building a web site compounds things.

One can only hope that the kids in the images are actors.

Tim Burrowes – Mumbrella



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing