Compare and contrast the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) World MS Day video from 2009 (positive portrayal of MS) with an Australian MS Society advert from 2007 (negative portrayal of MS) and read on…
The first time I saw “Beautiful Day” it brought tears to my eyes (and I absolutely hate U2). I guess because it depicted people with MS so positively. It also touched a nerve (‘scuse the pun), reminding me of that weird other-worldliness I experienced when I was first diagnosed.
Now take a look at this one…
I have seen the Australian “Saboteur” video get good responses on message boards and discussion forums from people with MS, but I think this is largely because people want to vent about how tough their illness is.
This is a natural response, I guess, but this sort of film doesn’t do people with MS any favours for all sorts of reasons, and it must be particularly tough for the newly diagnosed. Yeah, life is tough sometimes and I know I have a moan myself every now and then, but it’s easy for a bunch of people in an advertising agency or (dare I say it) an MS related organisation – people without MS – to decide what we should be feeling and how we should be portrayed.
I will be highlighting other negative and positive portrayals from now on.
With MS week in full swing, it is encouraging to see the UK’s MS Society engage in an advertising campaign that doesn’t depict people with MS as sufferers or victims, but demands fair treatment on our behalf.