Puns, the odd joke, a cliche or two, a bit of photoshop. All good fun. All helps one company’s advert stand out from the crowd.
But of course, some people just go too far.
Like Spire Healthcare.
According to its website, Spire is one of Britain’s foremost, respected, providers of quality healthcare.
And, equally, according to its website, it believes in:
Integrity in everything we do, we believe in being honest and genuine
So how does Spire explain the advertising campaign (right), spotted by Labour Councillor Patrick Hurley on Princes Street in Edinburgh?
Do they believe using an advert so obviously designed to attract a Cosmo readership (43% of which are under 24) demonstrates their integrity?
How does faking up Cosmo front covers fit with being ‘honest and genuine’?
And what do Cosmo make of this?
I’ve emailed a link of this blog to their respective press offices. According to Hurley, neither company responded to his earlier tweets, but it would be interesting to hear some answers.
Update 06.09.11: Spire apologises
A spokesperson for Spire Healthcare has ‘apologised unreservedly’ for the offensive adverts and promises that they will be withdrawn. In an email, they said:
These adverts were developed independently by the local hospital and have not been approved by Spire Healthcare. We do not endorse or agree with them and they will be removed immediately. We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.
Update 07.12.11: ASA uphold complaints against Spire
The Advertising Standards Authority have upheld complaints (not by me I’ll admit) that the Spire advert was not only irresponsible, but also misleading. That it was offensive is, of course, a matter of opinion. The advert has been banned from appearing again.