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‘We obviously underestimated the effect’: Heart Foundation CEO apologises for controversial ads

The Heart Foundation has today taken out full page advertisements in several newspapers apologising for its controversial ‘heartless words‘ advertising campaign.

The campaign, which suggested that people who didn’t look after the heart health didn’t care about their families, was pulled late last week.

Heart Foundation of Australia National CEO, John Kelly, said the organisation had misjudged their messaging.

“We apologised unreservedly because our messaging went too far, it was insensitive and we acknowledged that.

“The market research that we did focused on family tragedy … I think we obviously underestimated the effect that had for some people in terms of bringing back memories of blame and guilt,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Mr Kelly said the message of the advertising campaign remains important, and the public understands that.

“We’re going to continue to message the important issue. This is the biggest serial killer in Australia – 51 deaths a day.

“I think the Australian public understand that we’re a very genuine and ethical Australian charity. We’ve been around 60 years and we’re not going anywhere,” he said.

Press PLAY below to hear more on 3AW Mornings.