Govt. mammogram ad abreast in 'poor taste'
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is taking some heat for running a sponsored Instagram ad promoting mammograms depicting a Panini sandwich on a grill. (INSTAGRAM)
Ontario’s health ministry demonstrated “poor taste” when it put out an advertisement to promote mammograms using a picture of a Panini sandwich being cooked on a griller, critics say.
The picture, accompanied with the statement, “Regular mammograms are a key part of early cancer detection. Schedule one even if you’re pressed for time,” isn’t sitting well with some.
Health care dollars are scarce and shouldn’t be spent in this fashion, said PC MPP Lisa MacLeod.
“I don’t know who signed off on this. It’s insensitive. Women being considered a piece of meat,” she said.
Breast cancer survivor Margaret Gonyea said “Oh, Lord,” adding the health ministry should have looked for another way to get out its message.
“There must be a better way than to show (meat) on a grill. I don’t like it. It’s a touchy subject. There must be a better way,” said Gonyea, 63, from Brampton, who has been free of breast cancer for the past 12 years.
“I come into Toronto twice a year for a mammogram. I get mine all the time. I don’t think this ad would encourage others to. It’s disgusting.”
Health Minister Eric Hoskins office defended the ad, saying it’s meant to remind people of their health-care options, including pregnancy tests or access to urgent care centres.
“This group of 11 ads depict real-life situations where someone either remembers to arrange health-care for themselves or, has an urgent health-care matter,” his office said a statement to the Toronto Sun.
“Reminding women to get regular mammograms is the first line of defence...Normalizing health-care procedures — which these ads work to do — helps people feel more comfortable about seeking help.”
Brad Mackay, whose mother is battling breast cancer, was one who took to social media to object to the ad.
“I’ve never had a mammogram, but I’m told they aren’t fun or funny. I’m surprised they would have (an ad) in such poor taste,” he said.
“By comparing a woman’s breast to a grilled Panini and saying ‘pressed for time’ is failed humour.”