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Ad campaign attacked as 'gratuitous sexualisation of nursing'


A bus company in Worcester has refused to remove an advert featuring a “sexy” nurse wearing a PVC uniform, despite complaints that the image “demeans and devalues” the image of nursing.

The Worcester News revealed that the advert, which promotes a bus route between Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the city centre, has prompted numerous complaints.

Speaking to the Worcester News, Shaunee Irvine, a nurse and RCN steward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, said: “Using this kind of imagery to portray nurses is clichéd and, frankly, an insult to the intelligence of most people, and it’s clear that it demeans nurses and devalues the nursing profession.

“Nurses object to the trivialisation and gratuitous sexualisation of nursing, not least because it can risk fuelling a mistaken impression of nurses among some people, and this makes our already difficult job even more challenging.”

A spokesman for the trust said: “A number of our nurses are upset by this advertisement which they feel presents nurses in a derogatory and degrading manner.

“We have asked that these advertisements be removed and we are very disappointed that the bus company has declined our request.”

Worcester News spoke to Diamond Buses who said the adverts were part of a “bright and positive” advertising campaign which had been shown to a group of nurses before they were used.


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Readers' comments (37)

  • Upset by this advertisement?! You must be is a bit of fun that's all.

    Do these 'offended' nurses feel offence at programmes like casualty, holby and scrubs where nurses are quite often portrayed as incompetent baffoons!

    There are far more serious issues taking place on the planet than a flipping bus advertisement!

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  • I completly agree with the above comment. Are there not more important things taking place in the world? I cant believe that people complain about such little issues. It would not even cross my mind to formally complain about such a thing.

    Its how you portray yourself as a nurse individually and the care that you give patients that gives you the reputation you deserve, not a bus companys campaign that is using a little humour to advertise. People are being over protective over nurses and that is just as bad in my books.
    Do these people that complain complain about evey profession that is advertised in such a way or is just nursing that requires complaints to be made about it if it is not 100% prim and proper. We live in the year 2010!

    Honestly, what is the world coming to.

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  • I cannot believe the comments above! It is not an image that i appreciate being portrayed. It gives the impression that the nurses are nothing but play things that dress up to please their patients. Sorry i am by no means a prude, i enjoy a giggle as much as the next, i even chuckle when watching the carry on films, but nurses dresse in pvc with a clevage is not what we are - so i really do disagree with the above comments - where is your pride??

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  • I acutally think it is quite funny, what happend to a sense of humour. I expect that those poor patients travelling to their hospital appointments or to visit loved ones, are cheered up by this tongue in cheek send up.

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  • So where are the tongue in cheek send ups of other 'professions' on the buses then - where is the sexy police man - so we girls can enjoy ! Where is the scantily clad fireman - no - only nurses have to put up with this crap - how sick of hearing oooh matron will the staff in ED and outpatients be when they are busy and trying to concentrate on the serious job in hand.
    If we didnt have such weak unions who cant stand up for us - and an NMC who would rather hang us than defend us - this sort of degredation of our professional image would not be allowed to happen.

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  • I agree with comments 1,2 and 4. Its a bit of fun.
    However, as a male nurse, I feel discriminated against, as No one ever poses a "sexy" male nurse. ( I am not that sexy nurse). There are a few males RN that I work with that would give Mr America a run for his money! Yeah I'm a yank.
    If we are gonna' fight lets do it for something meaningful, like overcrowding or access to care.

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  • im a nurse and i dont find this offensive at all, its quite funny really.

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  • i think people know that when they come into hospital we are not dressed like that and it is just abit of fun and nurses are respected for the hard work and responsible job they do, dont think an advert on a bus is going to change that.

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  • MillerT

    The advert is promoting a bus route to hospital rather than any product or service directly linked to the NHS or the nursing profession, and I think that gap should allow the bus company a little bit of leeway. Patients who take the bus to reach their appointments or for visiting the hospital for whatever reason will surely appreciate an amount of tongue in cheek humour. It would take an extraordinarily large step for someone to genuinely associate this advert with the reality of hospital professionals.

    Now, if this image were adorning the back doors of ambulances, then things would have got slightly out of hand.

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