Australia bursts your bubble with suicide ad

Balloons

This Australian suicide-awareness ad from Saatch & Saatchi in Sydney for the Bipolar Education Foundation has raised red flags in the mental-health community for a couple of reasons. First, its claim that one in four Australians (more than 5 million people) suffer from a mental illness each year is seen by some as a gross exaggeration. But also, there's the creative idea of featuring game-show contestants (and a hostess) popping balloons to symbolize people who have taken their own lives. Seems a little … crass? SANE Australia executive director Barbara Hocking called the ad "almost farcical" and added: "It does run the risk of confusing people and upsetting people who have bipolar disorder. My view is, I think it is poor. … The last thing you need is [a gimmick]." BEF founder Enrique "Topo" Rodriguez defended the ad and the data—though this is a guy who clearly enjoys hyerbole. "I live and die with this information every day," he said.