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For immediate release
October 2, 2007

Sandy Summers
410-323-1100 or 443-253-3738

Dentyne gets fresh with nurses

Hundreds of nurses have protested Cadbury Schweppes' decision to keep running a "naughty nurse" TV ad in Canada. In the ad, "nurses" give patients romantic attention the instant the patients pop the company's Dentyne Ice gum into their mouths.

The gum ad's tag line is "get fresh," but the nurses say the "naughty nurse" stereotype is so stale, it's toxic. "The naughty nurse has been around for decades," said Sandy Summers, executive director of The Truth About Nursing, which launched the campaign. "And it remains an ad industry staple."

More than 400 nurses from around the world have told the company that they work hard to save lives and improve outcomes, but the Dentyne ad suggests they're frivolous bimbos. "We get that it's a 'joke,' but this imagery constantly links nurses with this joke as if they were no more than a standard comic prop," said Summers.

The Center argues that the constant repetition of this imagery in the mass media discourages practicing and potential nurses, encourages sexual abuse, and weakens nurses' claims to the resources needed to resolve the deadly global nursing shortage.

Summers noted that It would be no defense to stereotyping of other groups, such as ethnic groups, to say that those responsible intended no harm. "Even if Cadbury Schweppes is just trying to achieve some other worthy goal, like selling breath-freshening products to young males, its ads still reinforce a stereotype that contributes to a public health crisis," she said.

To see the commercial and our analysis of it, please go to


The Truth About Nursing, founded in 2001, is an international non-profit organization based in Baltimore that seeks to increase public understanding of the central, front-line role nurses play in modern health care. The focus of the Truth is to promote more accurate, balanced and frequent media portrayals of nurses and increase the media's use of nurses as expert sources.

For more information, please contact:

Sandy Summers, MSN, MPH, RN
Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
office 1-410-323-1100
fax 1-410-510-1790
cell 1-443-253-3738