The Heart Foundation has responded to feedback on its latest public awareness campaign “Heartless Words”, developed by Host/Havas Sydney and has announced that the campaign advertisements will no longer run in their current form across media and social media channels.
Says Chris Leptos, chairman, Heart Foundation Board: “To all the people who have been offended by our campaign, we apologise, and to all those who provided their feedback, we have listened.
“We tried to take a bold and emotive approach. We misjudged it. We had never intended to further hurt people already struggling with heart disease, or to further pain loved ones who have lost people to heart disease. It is clear, however, that many people feel we did both of those things.
“To all of those people, we say a heartfelt ‘Sorry’. Helping to relieve the suffering caused by heart disease is at the centre of everything we do. This campaign was devised with the best of intentions – to save lives – but it has had an unforeseen impact.”
The campaign used an emotional appeal to deliver the message that when we neglect our own hearts, we risk breaking the hearts of those who love us. The campaign was designed to convince people to have a Heart Health Check.
Heart disease is largely preventable. Most heart attacks are caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lifestyle factors. It is estimated that if all Australians at risk had a Medicare-funded Heart Health Check over the next five years, up to 76,500 hearts attacks and strokes, and up to 9,100 deaths, could be prevented.
A new Heart Foundation campaign will be coming soon.