Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Radio Station Stem Cell Blunder

Posted on: September 12, 2011

As part of my daily news digestion I came across an amazing story of how a Canadian radio station is holding a competition offering the chance to WIN A BABY. Yes, in what has been deemed as ‘unethical’ and ‘insulting’, Ottawa based 89.9FM station has promised to pay for 3 x $35,000 treatments of IVF treatment. Not a cute lickle bubba in a nappy afterall.

First of all I would like to take my hat off to the marketing department for deploying an act of marketing genius. Some of the world’s best journalists from some of the world’s most influential newspapers and media institutions have picked up on the story. Well done for that. Second of all the contentious subject of fertility treatment is one that divides strong opinion and a organic conversation starter. Thirdly, I think for people to understand it better it needs something like this to raise social/cultural awareness (Eastenders I’m sure will look at the subject of IVF in the near future now).

Not too long ago I had the opinion that IVF was something not to be commercialised but then I started working for a client that specialise in baby stem cell storage and umbilical cord blood bank services who do wonderful things in helping families realise their dreams of having a child. The bigoted phrase ‘having a baby isn’t a right, it’s a privilege’ needs to be banned from public use. To anyone who believes in this motion I challenge you to tell this to a couple who wish/hope/pray one day they will be holding a child of their own. It is not a privilege, it is a bodily function. There are plenty of parents who shouldn’t be yet they are FAR from privileged.

So DM, stop the condemnation and look beyond the marketing rhetoric. Let’s look deeper than the ‘Win A Baby’ catch line and keep in mind what the competition is all about. They are offering to pay for the expense of IVF treatment for three possible couples; they are not offering a baby. Clear link bait. Of course the headline ‘Win A Baby’ appeared in millions of peoples Facebook and Twitter streams linking to the competition landing page. Once again, well played!

Maybe somebody who was formerly unable to afford the treatments will now have a better chance at conceiving a much wanted baby. Or maybe if the fertility treatment regulator has its way the competition will get closed and no one gets to win a baby. However you want to look at it no one can deny the shrewd use of semantics in a local radio station competition that has inevitably gone international!


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