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Open letter to Clairol

To Whom it May Concern at Clairol:

Last night while watching television, one of your commercials for Herbal Essence shampoo came on. This particular commercial showed a nurse in a crisp white uniform (nurses rarely wear these types of uniforms anymore) in a patient's room. She spies the patient's Herbal Essence shampoo and proceeds to wash her hair in the patient's bathroom. The patient, in the meantime, is on a heart monitor, which states to all viewers that he is in need of close observation.

First of all, as a nurse and a professional, I resent seeing nurses portrayed as empty-headed women with no concern for a patient's welfare but takes more interest in waving around her newly shampooed hair.

You might say that most people watching this commercial would know that nurses do not act this way and that it was intended in good humor. I find nothing humorous about our country entering a health care crisis like no other (that is, a shortage of nurses) and you helping to add to the problem. If anyone was considering nursing for a career, this commercial could possibly be a turn-off. We, as a profession, are in great need of recruiting men and women to the profession and would prefer that the public sees who we are and what it is that we do. We are college educated, state licensed, knowledgeable, experienced professionals who take what we do very seriously. We are the ones who care for the sick, teach the healthy how to stay that way, prevent illness, comfort the dying and their families, and bring a safe delivery into the world for our tiniest and most vulnerable. Johnson & Johnson has done an admirable job in helping to convey the true essence of nursing and to plead to everyone who views their commercials to consider joining the profession.

Please do not undo what we are trying to accomplish. I urge you to discontinue showing this commercial. Consider that it may be you or a loved one who will need the professional expertise of a nurse someday and there won't be anyone there to help you. Please do not take what I am saying lightly. I know that I speak for millions of nurses in America who are greatly offended by this commercial and would probably not buy this product after seeing it.

Thank you for your time.

Katie Krisko-Hagel, RN, MS
Learning & Development Specialist
Education Services at United Hospital
333 North Smith Avenue St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
Mail Stop #60122 Phone: 651-220-8216
Pager: 612-654-0527 FAX: 651-220-7144

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