Thursday, June 07, 2012

Multiple Sclerosis: public service announcements 1990's

Images of barbed wire and chain or a voiced over question asking who would be there to pick up the pieces of your life shattered by Multiple Sclerosis … it was a different image of MS projected in advertising two decades ago.

These two 'vintage TV' 30 second Public Service Announcements (PSA) show a frightening portrayal of MS …

Patti was diagnosed in 1985 with ‘probable MS’. Not only did we watch that US PSA when originally aired but it was already true for Patti.  

The word “cure” dominated early fundraising slogans, e.g. walk for a cure, cure MS, fight for a cure, read for a cure, etc.

Changing slogans and advertising over the decades seems a bit like lowering the bar.

Certainly the advent of “progression slowing” medications for the newly diagnosed justified changes yet at what level does the bigger picture risk leaving behind those more progressed.

Then again communication challenges increase with progression and the voices of the more advanced stages fade away … unless others speak up, not unlike the haunting unanswered question through time “who will be there to pick up the pieces?”

It was a fair question then, is a fair question now, and always will be a fair question ... until the cure is found.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 


  1. I have felt like the pic with the chains many times...Yes always waiting for a cure.

  2. I never saw those PSAs, and I probably would have ignored them back then. MS hadn't entered my life yet. If they're still finding ways to just treat the symptoms, will they ever move toward that "cure?"

  3. I remember the posters and Magazine ads that went out in Time Mag etc, about 1997...powerful, had everyone talking---BRING THESE BACK. Our "branding" is awful. Our "awareness" is shabby. And we wonder why we don't have more money when people STILL say, "Is that Jerry's Kids?" Now THAT has good advertising and money raising tactics. AARRGGH

  4. Unfortunately we know that for us a cure is not the answer, even if a cure was found today could it reverse years of progression and damage? Not likely. I still do walk for a cure each year hoping to spare someone else the hell that is our daily existence.


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