British PSAs getting even tougher to watch

They don't really skimp on the shock tactics in British public-service messages. These two commercials, quite uncomfortable to watch, are part of the ACT F.A.S.T. campaign, a new U.K. effort aimed at helping people to recognize the signs of a stroke, and to act quickly and reduce the damage caused. "When a stroke strikes, it spreads like a fire in the brain," says the voiceover. "The longer it goes undetected, the more damage it does." Public reaction seems to be falling into two main camps, which are now doing battle: those who find the ads upsetting (including some who think they're airing too early in the evening); and those who, perhaps nervously, are making light of the spots—and suggesting that the warning signs of a stroke are confusingly similar to the faces their friends tend to make late on Saturday nights at the pub.

—Posted by Tim Nudd