Gmail blocks Cancer Council ad campaign
A poor understanding of cancer symptoms and the fact country people often delay going to the doctor is causing too many avoidable deaths.
The article was written by Stuart McGuckin and published in the Geraldton Guardian on 3 May 2019.
Cancer Council WA has raised concerns that many regional West Australians may be missing out on important health messages because Gmail has blocked them for being too personal.
The council’s Find Cancer Early campaign was deliberately designed to use plain language such as “pee” and “poo” to explain the symptoms of several prevalent cancers. Facebook overturned a decision to block the ads, but Gmail continues to stand its ground because of the references to “the early detection of cancer” and “intimate bodily health issues”.
Cancer Council WA regional education officer Shenae Norris said regional West Australians were 20-30 per cent more likely to die within five years of a cancer diagnosis than those living in Perth.
“Digital platforms like Gmail are one of the few ways we can effectively reach people in rural and remote parts of WA, so not being able to use it is a big issue,” Ms Norris said.
“We know these education messages will save lives, so Gmail’s refusal to let us get them out there is disappointing and somewhat baffling considering the same ads were allowed to run last year.
“A poor understanding of cancer symptoms and the fact country people often delay going to the doctor is causing too many avoidable deaths.”