CCFA Responds to IBD Community Criticism of New Ad Campaign

January 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm 4 comments

Today, I was emailing with my local CCFA chapter staff about how so many folks in the IBD community are disappointed by the new ad campaign, Escape the Stall.

She reached out to the national office to express how folks were feeling and to find out how they chose the bathroom stall as the focus of the campaign.

Here is the response that CCFA’s National Marketing Director sent back. One thing to note is that CCFA did focus groups with both patients and non-patients and both groups liked it during the groups. I know many of you still won’t be happy with the campaign but I hope it at least answers some of your questions.

It’s a fair question. Some people think of IBD as just one thing (going to the bathroom frequently), but it’s actually a lot more complicated. And sinister.

People with IBD have to deal with debilitating pain, agony, and discomfort, as well as embarrassment. It’s not the same for different people, and it’s not consistent (some people have some symptoms, some one).

The campaign utilizes the bathroom for a simple reason: it’s easy to recognize. And sympathize! It helps people understand how difficult it is to live with IBD, while reminding people living with IBD that there’s no reason to hide a normal daily activity. That’s what this campaign is all about.

It was never the intent to insult anyone, or to belittle the condition. But talking about IBD is not easy. It’s already a difficult subject, rife with embarrassment and secrecy.

By putting “the bathroom issue” front and center, we wanted to engage people, raise awareness, and demonstrate our commitment and compassion. All of CCFA is committed to battling this serious condition on multiple fronts.

And as one of our supporters (and IBD sufferers said), “If we can’t stand up to this condition, and be able to laugh at ourselves, we can’t expect others to.”

We understand that not everyone is going to agree with a provocative campaign like this. We expected for some people to disagree with the imagery but we have really worked hard for the past year to create a memorable campaign for the general public who know very little about these diseases. If we are successful in gaining support, we all benefit. Our primary goal for this campaign is to raise funds for research and that can only happen through public awareness.


Entry filed under: Advocates.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. A Guy With Crohn's  |  January 14, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I can see their point but I still think it was a little to tame. I wonder how big their focus group was.

  • 2. The Ad Campaign That Wasn’t « asizCreatives  |  January 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

    […] I posted my thoughts on CCFA’s Escape the Stall Campaign. I just finished reading a post by Caring for Crohn’s. This is MY response to CCFA’s answers about the […]

  • 3. asizCreatives  |  January 15, 2013 at 8:34 am

    As I said on twitter, my response to this was way too long. Too long for here too. I’m not trying to freeze your page with a comment 😉 So just check it out here.

    Side-note:Rebecca, you’re great! Your husband must know how lucky he is to have someone like you! I refer a lot of “loved ones” to your site 🙂

  • […] generate the right kind of attention for our disease. Many people with IBD will remember the CCFA’s terrible bathroom ads. Along similar lines, Sara at Inflamed & Untamed has a great post on an awareness project done […]


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Striving to be content with the life I have been given, instead of the life I had imagined

Brian Greenberg

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