Asbestos is deadly. It causes a horrible, aggressive form of cancer called mesothelioma. The fatality rates remain high, despite treatment options. Every year, around 15,000 people in the United States die from cancer or other diseases that link back to asbestos.
Just do not tell the advertising company working with Snickers and Sports Illustrated. That agency apparently thinks that asbestos is a joke, and they used swimsuit models to act it out.
Sports Illustrated is famous for having an issue every year featuring swimsuit models. It even has special advertisements created specifically for that issue, all using it as the central theme.
On a recent issue, an advertisement for Snickers put a model with an asbestos abatement suit on the back cover. She even has a respirator mask on her face, and she’s holding asbestos removal equipment. She does have a swimsuit on, but she’s wearing it over the full-body suit. The mask covers most of her face, though she’s wearing makeup.
The ad is entitled: “Goddesses of Asbestos Removal” and it features a tagline claiming that “this is what happens when hungry people brainstorm swimsuit issue themes.”
The Snickers connection
The agency designed the ad to tie in with Snickers’ long-time campaign saying that people act differently when they feel hungry, claiming that they should then eat a Snickers candy bar so they can act normally again.
In this context, it was poking fun at the people behind the fake theme, rather than the models themselves, saying that an asbestos abatement theme was clearly not a good idea. It’s the opposite of what people expect to see when they pick up that issue.
Asbestos is not a joke
Technically, it works. Does that mean it’s in good taste?
Ask anyone with mesothelioma, and they will tell you they do not find asbestos to be a joke in the least. Why run an ad that softens public opinion, perhaps overshadowing how dangerous and even deadly it can be? It’s still in use in the United States, in some capacities, and certainly has not gotten removed from all older homes and businesses. It’s a real danger, not the punchline for some ad trying to get people to buy candy bars.
The advertising agency explained their thinking — the idea with the fake “theme” for the issue and how it must have been created by hungry people — but does that excuse using something that kills thousands of people annually to sell chocolate bars?
After asbestos exposure
Has asbestos exposure left you with a potentially deadly disease, high medical bills and a vastly lower quality of life? If so, make sure you know all of the options you have.