Monday, June 7, 2010

Ad nauseam...

My jaw dropped one recent morning en route to work. We had the radio on and there was an ad -- for a local infertility clinic! I'd heard of clinics advertising in the States, but I had never heard such an ad myself. Until now.

And it was just as bad & cliched as you'd expect/fear. It starts with a baby's giggle & then a cloying female voice talking about the clinic... and how the nice people there "explained everything -- after that, it was a piece of cake."

"PIECE OF CAKE?!?!?!" I practically shouted at the radio (and, unfortunately, into poor dh's ear). Yep, that's exactly what she said.

Now, I can think of many descriptions for my infertility clinic experience -- but "piece of cake" is definitely NOT one of them. And I can't think of too many (if any) other IF-ers I know who would use that term either. Sheesh.

On the flip side of the coin -- there's a great article on right now about an innovative infertility ad campaign -- which Julie at A Little Pregnant wrote about awhile back. (She's quoted in the article.)

Do yourself a favour -- don't read the comments (sigh...)... although you're actually forewarned in the article itself, lol. Sample quote:

"The assumption persists that every (married) woman will have a child, even those who aren't interested. So you can imagine how that might feel for those who are. But, then, articles about infertility online, for one, often elicit ungenerous commentary that basically boils down to "boo-fucking-hoo." Our nation's collective pop-culture "bump watch" being on permanent orange alert (what Rebecca Traister called "pregnancy porn") doesn't help, either.

"Speaking of culture, it's not overflowing with positive, nuanced or compassionate images of women struggling to conceive or seeking fertility treatment. (One word: "octo-mom.") Also, if you totally forgot that there was a dramedy about a fertility clinic on NBC called "Inconceivable," good."

Thank you, Emily, for posting about this article on Facebook!


  1. Loved the article and LOVED the ad, thanks for posting :)

  2. Funny ... I was just finishing up my bloggie post about this as well!

    And "Piece of cake" my patootey! Grrr ...

  3. Great article. I also think a lot of doctors should be educated as well about infertility. Piece of cake, hahahah, a slice full of sharp needles and credit card receipts.

  4. The "medical minute" on the local news for the past 2 months has focused on the local (ahem, only) infertility clinic. Talking about their high success rates, etc. I realize that we chose to stop at a particular point, but it still gives me an eye twitch when the ad comes on. They profile a family who now has "the children we've always wanted". *sigh*

    BTW, can't respond for some reason to your comment from last week. I do think the IUD is causing some of the cramping...and I think my problem is that I am still trying to associate any symptoms with potential pregnancy. Funny how the mind takes a while to catch up to the body, isn't it?

  5. I like these ads. The "Jane's pregnant again" one is really spot-on. I totally agree that the "boo-f*cking-hoo" response is typical -- in fact I could not get past the first 4 comments on the Salon piece, but what else is new?

    "A piece of cake." Are you kidding?!?! I'm speechless.

  6. After more consideration, I'll say that what bothers me the most about the "piece of cake" comment is that although it may be offhand and unscripted, it is so cavalier -- so terribly cavalier. It bears no resemblance to either the treatments themselves or the moral and ethical dilemmas that confront -- and very often confound -- all who are experiencing infertility. I've been blogging about IF for 4 years and have never read anyone discuss the next step without some trial of conscience or hesitation. I have never read or heard of two partners arrive at the same state of acceptance and readiness for the next step at the exact same time. In fact, the marriage of some very dear friends is ending, largely because of these trials. It saddens me to think that even a "successful" former patient might say that it was all a piece of cake.

  7. I think of my trips to the doc and 'piece of cake' isn't a phrase I would attach to it. And I didn't even go through a fraction of what most women do.

    It is sickening that the ads can reduce fertility treatments in that way. Make it all seem so simple and meaningless.

  8. Um, I should have heeded your advice about not reading the comments. Yeesh!

  9. [Loribeth, this comment isn't meant for publication, it's only that I can't find your e-mail address.]

    I think it is 'ad nauseam' (not *nauseum), accusative feminine.


  10. Anon -- you're right! ; ) I've corrected the spelling. Thanks!

  11. Me again.

    Piece-of-cake-ly relevant.