The introduction of a startling new advertising warning about the hazards of Covid-19 has sparked uproar among Australians.
The horrific 30-second footage, which shows a terrified young woman fighting to breathe on a ventilator, will be broadcast on free-to-air television across the country beginning Sunday night.
A sneak peek of the ad sparked outrage, with many people rushing to social media to demand that it be pulled.
It comes as health experts call for stricter lockdown measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 after 77 new cases and one death were reported in NSW on Sunday.
Bill Bowtell, an adjunct professor at UNSW and a consultant in strategic health policy, quickly rushed to Twitter to demand that the ad be removed.
Mr Bowtell wrote, “This ad should be removed off the air immediately.”
“Today in Sydney, a young girl with Covid – roughly the same age as the actor in the commercial – is struggling for her life on a ventilator.”
“This disrespectful advertisement can only cause her family and friends to be upset. In every way, it’s a blunder.”
The dramatic vision, which displays utter horror in the young woman’s eyes as she looks at the camera while unable to breathe correctly, was also criticised as erroneous by ICU doctor Tom Solano.
“As an ICU specialist, I can assure you that we would never intentionally subject you to such pain. Before things got that terrible, we’d try to get more help,” he said.
Others joined in the chorus of fury at the ad, with several pointing out the absurdity of the image, which depicted a young Australian in discomfort from a sickness against which she is unlikely to be vaccinated.
Completely offensive to run an ad like this when Australians in this age group are still waiting for their bloody vaccinations. https://t.co/4xF5hZAkqp
— Hugh Riminton (@hughriminton) July 11, 2021
I think more than anything the ad will be a wake up call to people in NSW who aren’t taking the current situation seriously.
— Torin Peel (@Torin) July 11, 2021
The #ArmYourself ad targets the over-55s.
This ad won't work though. Research shows that fear-based ads must convince people they can do what is necessary. Unless the line "Book your vaccination" is cut, this ad will only result in defensiveness and denial.
— Tom van Laer (@narratologic) July 11, 2021