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Florence is a punk rocker

September 17, 2004 -- A new 15-second television ad by Emerald Nuts shows two "nurses" at a hospital work station eating nuts as they shake frenetically to a thrashing punk/alternative instrumental soundtrack and an announcer intones: "Extreme Nurses Love Emerald Nuts." We understand that some nurses have found this depiction to be degrading. We don't see that it's particularly harmful to nursing, but do provide contact information below for those who wish to express their views to the company.

The ad can be viewed here (click on "TV ads," then click on the hand pointing to the right one time to see the "extreme nurses" ad.)

Of course, the two "nurses" look silly acting like punkers while at work and in scrubs, an incongruity not diminished by the choice of two actresses who do not fit the emaciated punker stereotype. However, nursing is not the only profession to undergo ribbing in these ads--others include "Extinguished Novelists" and "Exercising Newscasters"--and we don't see that the nurse ad plays off any significant nursing stereotype. Presumably nursing was chosen in part because it is viewed as a fairly calm and responsible profession, not one whose members are associated with slamming and moshing, but it's hard to see this as particularly harmful. We suppose you could interpret the ad as suggesting that nursing is normally staid or dull, thus the contrast. But unlike a number of other recent ads, at least this one does not suggest that nurses are sex objects, handmaidens, battleaxes or underworked. And it's easy to imagine similar ads involving other "respectable" professions, such as medicine or law. The newscaster ad is actually far more pointed, as it imagines newscasters exercising in their on-air attire and reporting pompously to each other about the settings of their workout machines.

We suppose you could argue that the nurse ad suggests that nurses tend to be overweight (or just that it's funny to watch overweight people thrash around), or that nurses have time for frivolous behavior at work. But everyone has to eat, and even today's short-staffed nurses can probably find 15 seconds to eat a handful of nuts. In our view, every profession has to be prepared to take a little teasing, as long as it doesn't reinforce harmful and widespread misimpressions.

In any case, feel free to make any comments to:

Vicki Zeigler
Public Relations Manager
Diamond of California
Phone: (925) 251-3804
Fax: (209) 933-6809




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