Superhero Health Month campaign banned after scores of complaints

Marketing experts say the superhero campaign, which features super villains and a Spider-Man car, is really fun and guaranteed to get the message across to children

The Toronto area’s healthcare authorities have ordered multiple versions of a Superhero Health Month campaign, after receiving dozens of complaints about the packaging.

Superhero Health Month’s website explains that a local flu vaccination clinic offered four different versions of the primary Superhero Health Month packaging, but also recounts complaints received through social media.

Claims include the said packaging being sexist and promoting marijuana.

Marketing experts contacted by the Toronto Star say it’s probably a coincidence, but the region’s health authorities have been hit by an unusually big number of complaints.

Superhero Health Month message: ‘Stay sharp so you can save the world.’ Photograph: BTB/Toronto District Health Authority

The flagships version of the campaign slogan, which features a superhero blowing super-heated air for those who step up to take the shot, is almost as iconic as the tagline of the Marvel Comics character The Incredible Hulk.

It’s impossible to tell whether the complaints are coming from frustrated parents who got excited about the idea, or concerned parents who found the first version of the campaign upsetting.

Toronto ranks second to Denver among US cities for the largest rate of opioid addiction, but that problem is further complicated by an increased number of opioid-relieving vaccines offered in many local health systems.

“It’s unbelievable that there’s any thing that Canadians are in danger of contracting during a campaign when they are prepared for everything from HIV, hepatitis, diphtheria, pertussis, whooping cough, tetanus, human papillomavirus, polio and polio vaccines. It seems remarkable,” said United States Healthcare Trust’s healthcare chief quality officer, Scott Hatala.

“We don’t have the luxury of frivolity when we are protecting the health of Canadians.”

However, Toronto’s primary health authorities actually told the Star they were aware of the complaints and would be cancelling print runs of the version printed in media outlets across the country.

The health authorities also said in their report to the Star that they’re looking at other formats for super-hero packaging, which may be redesigned, and are in the process of reviewing options that “will be less damaging to consumers and less attractive to criminals.”

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