Walking around London on vacation recently, I hardly expect to see any healthcare ads. Retail ads, meanwhile, hit you at every turn—bored Lana Del Rey wearing H&M, coy Mila Kunis toting a Dior bag, and of course, the ubiquitous David Beckham modeling… well who can focus enough to figure out what.
You can imagine my surprise, then, when I was walking through Trafalgar Square, a double-decker bus rounded the corner with a large ad promoting National Health Service (NHS) nurses.
This is unexpected for two reasons. First, Britons are quite proud of and loyal to the NHS, the UK's publicly funded healthcare system created after World War II. The organization doesn't need to do a whole lot of general advertising.
And when they do put out a marketing push, most NHS-sponsored ads are in the form of preventative care education. So an ad promoting a group of NHS staff struck me as particularly odd.
I was curious, so I did some digging. The campaign, called "This is Nursing," turned out to be a public relations attempt to mitigate the damage done to the nursing profession after a series of negative reports regarding nurses, notably the Winterbourne View abuse case.