How hospital photo negates credibility

Front cover of Advocate's Fall 2013 issue
Junk mail. Everybody gets it, few read it. Days when there aren't catalogs, bills, or anything else to distract me, I might actually take a glance at a community newsletter. Well this happened to be one of those days. I received "Inspiring medicine. Changing lives." from Advocate Christ Medical Center. On the cover of this issue, a woman is casually sitting on a motorcycle. She's wearing high heels and her hair and makeup look pretty fresh, so it's doubtful she was out biking when she decided to stop and get her pic taken for a hospital newsletter. OK, so what's the big deal, huh? Take a close look. What's missing from this picture?

A helmet. There's no accompanying helmet. Not on the front page, nor any of the other three pictures for this story. I don't get it. How do you not show a helmet next to a big bike? Or better yet, how about putting the helmet on the chick? So what am I all bent out of shape for exactly? If this was the cover image for a clothing or travel company I might be slightly more forgiving. Emphasis on slightly. But no, this is a newsletter from a hospital. Yes, a hospital. C'mon this one's a no brainer. No matter the editor/photographer's personal point of view on helmets, they're working for a hospital publication. Hospitals are supposed to help people get and stay healthy. So promoting helmets while riding motor bikes is something they should be doing. And not even having to think about it.

As of now, based upon this single article, I would not use Advocate. The only way they could redeem themselves is in a future issue. In one sentence, the editor could say: "On the cover of our Fall 2013 issue, we inadvertently left out Jamie's helmet, which she uses on every ride." An apology is the best solution to this problem.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section, I'd love to hear how you feel about this.

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