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Wal-Mart changes "brain surgeon" ad

April 2, 2005 -- Wal-Mart recently agreed to change a print advertisement for its scrubs, placed in some March 2005 nursing journals, that suggested that nurses are intellectually inferior to surgeons. The ad featured a nurse dressed in scrubs standing behind a patient's leg cast. Writing on the cast read: "It doesn't take a brain surgeon to recognize a good deal on scrubs." Even if you aren't a brain surgeon, we're sure you can see that this ad implies that nurses, despite their limits, can at least recognize a bargain when they see one.

After a single phone call from the Center, Wal-Mart's advertising department immediately agreed to change the text on the cast in the ad. Consulting with the Center, Wal-Mart developed a new proposed ad, and has shown the result to the Center. In our view, the new ad contains no insult to nurses. Wal-Mart has also stated that it regrets being unable to pull the "brain surgeon" ads in time for the April journal issues, but it has assured us that May issues will feature the revised version.

We commend Wal-Mart for agreeing so quickly to make this change, and for following through with a revised ad.


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