The Motor Neurone Disease Association, which saw donations skyrocket as a result of the ice-bucket challenge, is drawing criticism for a new advertising campaign linking the neural condition and last summer's charity craze, reports The Independent.
The ad features Michael Smith, a 34-year-old man who was recently diagnosed with the illness, and is captioned, "Last summer, I was the only person I knew that didn’t do the Ice Bucket Challenge. Five months later I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease."
Online critics questioned the tone of the ad and said the juxtaposition of Mr. Smith's diagnosis and his nonparticipation in the extraordinarily successful fundraising fad was inappropriate. Chris James, the British charity's director of external affairs, said the ad "is poignant and ironic but there was certainly no implication of 'bad karma' and we’ve been somewhat surprised by that response." Mr. Smith also defended the ad, dismissing the notion that it "would suggest you deserve a terminal illness for not doing a viral fad.”