Most public service announcements involving serious medical issues are vaguely worded to avoid making people uncomfortable, but a jarring new women’s health campaign by the Ad Council dispenses with the niceties and goes absolutely balls to the wall with graphic language: This incredibly explicit bus stop PSA isn’t even trying to use a euphemism to describe breast self-exams.
Yikes. Well that’s one way to get your point across.
Partnering with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Ad Council’s new series of PSAs does not mince words in its advocacy for preventative care, posing crass questions like, “Are your tits diseased?” alongside educational diagrams of breast self-examinations. While typically such PSAs use euphemistic visuals like pieces of fruit to depict the female anatomy and words like “the girls” to signify breasts, one of the Ad Council’s new ads simply shows an exasperated-looking woman in an old, dirty bra, which is labeled with the words “MY RACK.” And rather than beat around the bush about the medical realities of breast cancer, it cuts right to the chase with a helpful graphic that explains, “LUMPY BOOBS = BAD, NORMAL BOOBS = GOOD.”
Instead of asking viewers to visit a website for more information on the issue, the PSAs spell out all the pertinent details right on the posters, advising women to “Just go into the bathroom and use your hands to figure out if you’ve got any abnormal crap floating around in your tits. If you find any tit lumps, that means you probably have cancer, and you should have your primary care physician feel you up to make sure.” Totally eschewing cutesy phrases like “save the ta-tas,” the ads then explicitly warn women to “Check yourself for tit lumps all the time or you will die!!!”
Wow. Alright, then.
The Ad Council went all-out on this one, for sure. Time will tell if it’s an effective campaign or a total flop, but here’s hoping that the blunt messaging on the PSAs will inspire women all over the country to take their breast health more seriously.