Monday, December 10, 2007

One More for NYU Child Study Center

We let them know we were offended. This was their reply: "The strong response to this campaign is evidence that our approach is working." Dr Koplewicz calls this "a dialogue." I call it a slap in the face.

This poster and the previous two are available to anyone who wants to use them.


  1. Great job, Bev! I hope readers in New York will tape your posters right next to NYU's ads wherever they find them!

  2. One more quick thought: I'd suggest adding the address of ASAN's contact information page at the bottom of each poster, so that anyone who wants to protest the ads after reading the poster can easily do so.

  3. Good point, ABFH. I'll add that to the posters. Thanks.

  4. We have Portia and Jon to thank for this "kidnapping" theme.

  5. Indeed, their approach *is* working, if their intent is only to get people to look at their ads and feel some vague sense of alarm. Part of the problem is that the NYU reps don't see the folly in lumping autism in with a number of "disorders". The campaign, which would still be nebulously alarmist if it were applied to conditions that actually *are* “disorders”, I'm sure will be quite effective to the general public -- folks love that vague sort of Terrible Things Will Happen If You Don't Give Us Money campaign, because then all they have to do is give money -- not actually research the mission or see where their money is going -- just give money, and then they've "done their part" to make scary “disorders” go away. I wonder if NYU realizes that the problem is not with the effectiveness of the campaign -- again, the public eats that stuff up -- but with the classification of autism under Terrible Things Will Happen.

    I also wonder if they realize that using the blanket "ransom notes” campaign for autism research overtly suggests that the ONLY type of research they're doing with autism is geared toward eliminating autistic people. I'll bet there are also projects relating to communication, cognition, et cetera, that could probably *help* autistic people to lead better lives. The campaign doesn't do *that* research justice.

    I'm betting the campaign was dreamed up by a marketing school graduate or some other non-science person who doesn't know the actual biological implications of the "disorders" she's describing -- I'm sure when developing the copy for these "ransom notes" she just looked for lists of "bad things" associated with each condition

  6. Oh, and they just love reiterating that "While some people may find our campaign shocking . . ."

    I love it when folks talk about how avant-garde they're being. But again, they're missing the point. They're not drawing protest because they're so wild and cra-a-a-ay--zy-hard-core-daring-in-your-face, it's because they've got it wrong. Their tactics are neither bold nor original.

  7. And not only did these so-called professionals get a response to their thoughtless "PR" campaign, they got it from the autistics who were supposedly kidnapped. Kind of exposes the lie...

    Makes their whole operation suspect. This is the type of garbage used to sell stuff--get this special treatment or something horrible will happen!!!

    Metta, Rjaye

  8. Love it, Bev!! I saw this post about the "ransom notes" on my local autism e-mail group. I will have to send this to everyone.


  9. Some businesses actually do thrive on bad publicity and controversy. Some see it as better than no spotlight.


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