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06th Jan 2017

Irish Cancer Society defends its ‘provocative’ new campaign

Megan Roantree

Earlier this week the Irish Cancer Society launched a new campaign which lead with #IWantToGetCancer.

The controversial tag line to the campaign raised a lot of eye brows with some people adding that they felt it was insensitive.

The video shows a number of people wishing they could get cancer  – meaning ‘crush’ it in all manner of ways.

For example, a young man wishes he could get the illness so his friends don’t get it. A female researcher says she wants to ‘get’ it as she examines slides in a lab, and an emotional older man declares he wants to ‘get’ cancer so he can “wring it’s bloody neck”.

There was some backlash to the campaign due to its harsh sounding tagline.

However, the Irish Cancer Society has said that the campaign has done just as it was meant to, by increasing awareness about cancer.

‘We know our campaign has been provocative. But thanks to it, conversations about cancer are taking place in homes across the country. People are picking up the phone and going online because they want to Get Cancer by getting informed.” It said.

The ICS added that there has been an increase in public engagement.

”The Irish Cancer Society has seen a surge in demand for its information and support services.”

”Our freephone Cancer Nurseline saw a 100% increase alone in enquiries from members of the public on the campaign launch day this Wednesday. Top enquiries related to screening for cancer, lifestyle factors to reduce cancer risk, and cancer prevention.”

”This high level of public engagement in information and services provided by the Irish Cancer Society shows that the campaign is having the desired effect: people are beginning to Get Cancer.”

They also posted a video with this message, to Facebook to clarify what the campaign really means.