In short, the blog post expressed unhappiness in the imagery used by the CCFA to spread awareness about the issues affecting those with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. These images were of different types of people, including children, a bride, and even Santa Claus, behind a bathroom stall with a “witty” phrase about having to use the bathroom constantly.
I took a look at this blog post, and then of the images used by the CCFA, sat for a second, and then thought:
Wow, I am, for the first time ever, embarrassed to have Crohn’s disease.
The images, [which I have chosen not to share and you can see in the links above], basically frame C & UC patients as embarrassing bathroom jockeys.
Ok – yes – everyone who has C & UC, and even those with IBS, understand know that having these diseases require constantly needing to know where the nearest bathroom is, just in case. However, what the CCFA seemed to have forgotten is that both disease comes with a plethora of other issues that extend far beyond spending copious amounts of time in the bathroom.
Take me, for instance. Thanks to my ostomy, I am in remission, no longer have stomach pain, and really don’t give a (excuse the pun) shit where bathrooms are anymore. I barely need to go during the day.
Yet, I still have Crohn’s. In fact, I’m still dealing with many side effects of the disease.
As some of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may have seen, I was actually in the emergency room on Sunday for an issue that, while not stomach related, was still related to having the disease, which has left me with a sickeningly (haha) low immune system that, this time, resulted in a huge infection.
Thankfully, this one hospital trip only left me with some antibiotics, however, this is just one of the various issues I still deal with thanks to the disease.
What do I still deal with 10 years later? Skin wounds resulting from Crohn’s surfacing on my body, being anaemic and sometimes unable to function due to extreme lethargy , I am still unable to eat certain kinds of food, I am prone to catching colds since I can’t fight them off, and – the worst of them all – the constant worry that one day I’m going to end up right back in the hospital because the disease has come back in full force.
All of that is nothing in comparison to the issues I dealt with before surgery, all much worse than my various trips to the bathroom: issues such as constant excruciating pain, inability to eat anything for months on end… and nothing compares to my other friends who have experienced all of those issues, as well as others like fragile teeth and bones from medication use, short gut syndrome from having multiple surgeries, and even death- as an old friend of mine ended up getting a fistula where her stomach acid leaked through her intestine, burned a hole in her heart, gave her a heart attack, and she died.
Crohn’s is a lot more than just sitting in a bathroom stall.
I’m not only upset with this new CCFA campaign because it ignores many of the other issues those with the diseases have, but simply because it highlights the most embarrassing symptom of them all.
If I could somehow make shitbags look sexy, the CCFA could have done much better.
The question then, as was asked in the Inflamed and Untamed blog, becomes: is any awareness better than no awareness at all. Isn’t it just about getting the word out? It’s just about letting people know we are or have suffered?
As an educated and experienced marketer myself, I simply have to say – no. I think it would be much better not to frame C & UC in such a way than let an entire nation know about only one extremely embarrassing symptom.
Sometimes things are better left unsaid.
But that’s just me.
What do you guys think of this ad campaign? As an individual with C or UC? As an individual with neither?
[The opinion expressed here is solely of my own and does not reflect that of IDEAS]