Heart Foundation takes out print ads to apologise for Heartless Words ad

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 5 June 2019
The Heart Foundation

The Heart Foundation has backed down and apologised for its Heartless Words ad which tried to guilt parents into looking after their heart health.

The ad was initially defended by Chris Taylor, The Heart Foundation’s CMO, and its creative agency, Host/Havas, despite public backlash.

However, yesterday the foundation took out page 2 ads in News Corps titles, including its mastheads, to apologise.

In a statement, the Heart Foundation Board’s chair, Chris Leptos, says it’s listened to feedback and will no longer run the ad in its current form.

“To all the people who have been offended by our campaign, we apologise, and to all those who provided their feedback, we have listened,” Leptos says.

“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’.

“Helping to relieve the suffering caused by heart disease is at the centre of everything we do. This campaign was devised with the best of intentions – to save lives – but it has had an unforeseen impact.”

Heart Foundation

The open letter ad published by The Heart Foundation

AdNews has contacted Host/Havas for comment.

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