Knock It Off, American Lung Association

This commercial, part of a series by the American Lung Association titled “Red Carriage” aimed at educating viewers about air pollution and corporate attempts to roll back environmental protection laws, has been flooding the airwaves lately, and I absolutely cannot take it anymore. The spot shows a red baby carriage in front of smokestacks over an audio track of what appears to be a baby having an asthma attack. Even for people like me without young children, it is HORRIFYING. SOMEONE HELP THAT BABY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Here’s the thing: I agree with the American Lung Association. I hate talking about politics, but I’m 100% down with environmental protections like this. I am on their side in this fight. But these commercials give me the willies to the point I find myself actually getting angry at them. I end up immediately changing the channel whenever it comes on, so I don’t even get to their contact information at the end, which is THE WHOLE POINT OF THE COMMERCIAL. It’s the same problem I have with the Sarah MacLachlan ASPCA commercials. I understand they want people to notice them and hear their points, and I know they have a limited budget compared to their corporate opponents on the issue, but there’s got to be a better way to do it than this. I mean, they’re basically saying, “Give us what we want or we’ll keep ruining your whole day in random 30 second increments.” If you’ve got a good argument, you don’t need to resort to that kind of emotional terrorism. That’s something psychopaths do, like the Unabomber, or the mafia, or PETA. Cool it.

[shatters ankle dismounting soapbox]