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Heart Foundation pulls insensitive ads following public backlash

The Heart Foundation has pulled an advertising campaign and apologised following public backlash.

The advertisements suggested that people who die of heart disease don’t care about the loved ones the leave behind.

The campaign was designed to persuade people to have a heart health check, but 3AW’s Tom Elliott said the ads were insensitive.

“The ads were in poor taste, they might have raised awareness … but they made a lot of people feel very, very upset,” he said.

In a statement, chairman of the Heart Foundation Board, Chris Leptos, said they ads did not intend to offend.

“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.”

In a statement, Gary Jennings, chief medical adviser to The Heart Foundation, said “The Heart Foundation has decided to withdraw from this campaign because of the reaction they’ve received from several quarters in the media and in the community that perhaps the call went a little bit too far and has upset too many people”.

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