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Saturday, 22 July 2006 09:45
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Coca-Cola pulls advert
Following complaints from Scottish mental health campaigners the soft drinks giant Coca-Cola yesterday axed an advert that referred to "psychos".

The ad, which has appeared in newspapers and on billboards, was part of the campaign for the new product Coca-Cola Zero - which is designed to taste like normal Coke but without the sugar.

The campaign points out that many things in life would be better without a downside - in this case "blind dates without the psychos".

But those working with people with mental illness failed to see the funny side.

Linda Dunion, the See Me campaign director, said: "Psycho is a term we are trying to dissuade people from using. It is used to trivialise serious mental illness and as a shorthand for horrendous crime”.

Ms Dunion said people with mental illness felt belittled and ridiculed by the term and such advertising was undermining the campaign's own efforts to tackle stigma.

"It is not necessary for them to be using an advert that might offend people”.

Ms Dunion said it was "fantastic news" Coca-Cola had decided to stop using the ad.

The company apologised for any offence and said: "The insights used are tongue-in-cheek and designed to be humorous and appeal to our target audience.

"It was never our intention to offend people."


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