Health secretary Andrew Lansley has defended the use of ‘product placement’ in NHS wards, after a number of patients complained that the stitches they’d received bore an uncanny likeness to well-known company logos.
“Advertisers pay a lot of money to reach people when they’re at a low ebb”, explained Lansley from every screen in the hospital, “patients that don’t like it can opt out by healing a bit quicker.”
Lansley explained that adverts for cleaning products, basic food and Freeview television were particularly popular.
“For some reason, the marketing people thought these might be in demand in a hospital”, he exclaimed.
“They don’t always get it right. We held a focus group in the eye ward and they told us they’d prefer a bit of TLC to free TV. That’s why I’ve made this video of me, ordering them to get well soon and be grateful.”
Lansley NHS reforms
In-ward advertising is developing quickly, and some ‘no win, no fee’ law firms are sponsoring basic equipment such as neck braces, crutches and wheel chairs.
“We’re happy to hand them out to anyone that wants them”, explained lawyer George Hardcastle. “But they do have to agree to wear them in court.”
The policy has been less well received in Wales, where surgeons are having to make extra incisions just to give enough space for the welsh translations of popular slogans.
“We’re all in favour of making unnecessary cuts”, said Lansley defensively, “but it’s hard to explain to a patient why it looks like he’s had both appendices taken out.”
The NHS has welcomed the boost to its income from advertisers, and is keen to take the idea further.
“We’re offering firms the chance to add their names to popular illnesses or diseases”, admitted Lansley.
“Weightwatchers have already expressed an interest in rebranding Winter Vomiting Disease.”
“I didn’t think it would be a popular idea, but I’ve been told there’s a lot of money in viral advertising.”