A story I saw in the Globe and Mail last week caught my attention, and I thought it was worth sharing in case you hadn’t seen it.
Hot 89.9 has been running a contest for its listeners called Win a Baby since last week and couples have flocked to it.
I was particularly drawn to it because we run a lot of contests at SavvyMom, and since we consider ourselves experts in the mom arena, we are constantly asked the question ‘What do moms want the most?’
Apparently Hot 89.9 thinks they have the answer. But the prize is not really the chubby baby you see on the website, but rather, it’s the prize of free IVF (in vitro fertilization) fertility treatments (valued at $35,000) for the couple with the most compelling story. If you go to the site now, you can read about the top five finalists who you are being encouraged to vote for.
What’s interesting about this story? Firstly, there’s a radio station offering to give away a baby for a prize. They are essentially turning babies into a commodity’like a cruise or a car or cold hard cash (and other prizes). The exact wording on their contest page is: ‘For the first time in history, a radio station, this radio station, is giving away a baby’.
And what about the notion of offering IVF treatments as the real prize when they are marketing it as a baby? It’s so personal. It’s so misleading.
Hot 89.9 claims all they want to do is raise awareness of the infertility issue. Jeff Mauler, the on air personality for Hot 89.9 says, ‘One in six couples have trouble conceiving, a trip down to Cuba isn’t going to help that situation for them.’ Couples desperately want to conceive but fertility treatments are prohibitively expensive for most.
If awareness is what they’re after, then they achieved what they set out to do.
Do you agree with their tactics? Do the means justify the end in this case? If they are successful in raising awareness about IVF treatments, does it matter how they achieve that end? Does it bother you that the radio station is benefiting as much from this as the infertility issue is?
Savvy or Not So Savvy? I would love to hear what you think.
Tagged under: from the editor's desk