What exactly is The Sun trying to achieve with the Page 3 vs Cancer campaign? I think, aptly, there are three certainties:
1. To raise awareness about the importance of the early detection of breast cancer.
So far so good. We can all agree this is a fantastic thing to do, and I hope The Sun continues to use its influence to raise awareness of other cancers too.
2. Feeling rattled, The Sun in turn wants to rattle the No More Page Three campaign. By not-so-subtly putting it out there that if you are anti-page three, you must be anti-breasts and that must mean you are also pro breast-cancer. Because who can argue with breast cancer awareness?
Well I say cheap shot Mr. Dinsmore. Even for you. If it wasn’t deadly serious, this false dichotomy would be laughable. Fortunately, Mr. Dinsmore underestimated our intelligence as well as the strength of feeling behind the No More Page Three campaign. Supporters, on-the-fencers and non-supporters alike have seen this for the cynical and offensive move that it is.
3. Coppafeel’s motives are thoroughly altruistic, but David Dinsmore’s are at best partially so.
I question why Coppafeel allowed its campaign to become so inextricably linked to Page 3. I can’t help feeling that they were probably pushed into it during a blue-sky thinking brainstorming session with a bunch of Sun execs. And just for good measure they produced this (rather unsettling and unconvincing) video too.
Kristin’s powerful testimonial about her cancer diagnosis and the genesis of her charity is clumsily interspersed with footage of smiley topless Page 3 models in their knickers. I can almost hear a pushy producer behind the camera telling Kristin ‘Ok if you could now just say something about Page 3, y’know, something like they’re the most famous boobs in Britain and what a great opportunity this is for you.’ ….This is of course just my imagination. But I don’t think I can be far off the mark….
I am disappointed that a breast cancer charity is working specifically with The Sun’s seedy, sexist Page 3. My own view is that this aspect of the decision (insofar as Coppafeel would have been given any real choice) was poorly judged on their part. There is no doubt the partnership itself and campaign imagery has caused offense.
I’ll admit it took a while for my disappointment to give way to understanding. Coppafeel has secured a huge amount of coverage for their good cause and I’m glad more women will have checked their breasts this week than did last week.
My anger, cynicism and exasperation is entirely pointed at David Dinsmore and The Sun. But my admiration, as ever, is reserved for the No More Page Three campaign. They have dealt with this campaign curveball with dignity, kindness and yet more determination.
What does the future hold after Check ‘em Tuesday? Incidentally I hear from HQ that the petition is flying. I’m feeling pretty confident it’ll be No More Page Three.