NEWS: RNIB causes storm with work designed to unsettle readers

The Royal National Institute for the Blind has come under fire for its latest press campaign, which shows a woman with her legs open as a doctor in rubber gloves prepares to examine her. The ad reads: ‘The results are between you, your doctor and the person who reads your mail.’

The Royal National Institute for the Blind has come under fire for its

latest press campaign, which shows a woman with her legs open as a

doctor in rubber gloves prepares to examine her. The ad reads: ‘The

results are between you, your doctor and the person who reads your

mail.’



Complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority and to the RNIB have

called the ad ‘offensive’, and IPC Magazines has refused to run it in

Woman’s Weekly, claiming that its readers would find the image

offensive.



But Lynne Stockbridge, the head of communications at the RNIB, stands by

the ad. She said: ‘We wanted to turn up the volume on the campaign and

to make sighted readers feel uncomfortable, although we did not intend

to offend.’



The ad, by DMB&B, is part of the RNIB’s campaign to push for members’

rights to access private information in private, and highlights the

indignity of having someone else read out your personal medical results.

It calls for doctors, banks, and utility companies to deliver

correspondence in either large print, braille, on audio tape, or by

telephone.



DMB&B devised three executions for the campaign, which coincides with

RNIB Awareness Week. The two other ads are aimed at employers and

supermarket chains. One, which shows supermarket shelves covered with

unlabelled products, says: ‘You’ll find the peaches next to the tuna.’

The other with a plain blue background, reads: ‘Close your eyes. Do you

feel less intelligent?’



Stockbridge said: ‘The campaign breaks away from traditional charity ads

by not showing blind and visually impaired people as victims.’



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