Commotion about donor publicity stunt
4 June 2007, RIJSWIJK - At least 18,000 people downloaded an organ donor application after the broadcast of the "Big Donor Show" on Friday evening. Most of the visitors to the donor registration site were redirected there from a link on the BNN website.
4 June 2007
RIJSWIJK - At least 18,000 people downloaded an organ donor application after the broadcast of the "Big Donor Show" on Friday evening. Most of the visitors to the donor registration site were redirected there from a link on the BNN website.
The station had broadcast a game show in which three kidney patients vied for the kidney from a terminally ill woman. Not until the end of the programme was it revealed by presenter Patrick Lodiers that the whole thing had been a hoax to boost the number of organ donors. The "terminally ill woman" was in fact an actress, in good health. Though the three kidney patients are all in fact waiting for a kidney.
The broadcast drew more than 1.2 million viewers on Friday, making it the highest rated show that evening. Foreign media devoted a great deal of attention to the event: more than 100 journalists attended the show, more than half were from abroad.
"We worked on this stunt for a year and got a lot of international attention for a very real problem," BNN president Laurens Drillich said after the broadcast.
By Saturday afternoon 30,000 people had visited the website of the "Big Donor Show." A spokesperson for NIGZ Donor Awareness could not comment on how many more people downloaded organ donor registration forms over the weekend. "After the large number that visited the site on Friday evening, another wave of visits followed on Saturday. Of course people had read the paper and were talking about the topic," the spokesperson said.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was glad that the show was "fake, a hoax." He does not think it was the most appropriate means, but thinks that the main focus should be on the issue of organ donation. The minister responsible for media Ronald Plasterk called the programme "a fantastic stunt," but his colleague Ab Klink (public health), still felt the way that BNN had focused attention on the topic was inappropriate.
The "Big Donor Show" was viewed another 25,000 times over the weekend via the website uitzendinggemist.nl. NIGZ Donor Awareness says it will be about a month and a half before it is clear how many people registered as donors in response to the BNN action. Those who fill in a donor form are asked to confirm their decision after six weeks.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news