Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Action Alert: RNAO urges Neilson Dairy to discontinue offensive advertising campaign

August 07, 2008



It recently came to RNAO’s attention that Neilson Dairy has been using negative images of nurses to promote its Live Ultimate contest for flavoured milk. The campaign, which depicts “nurses” clad in tight mini-dresses who are eager to share their love for flavoured milk online and in person at various events across Canada, implies that nurses are sexually available to their patients. These images are offensive and continue to perpetuate unacceptable stereotypes. Moreover, they have the potential to lead to sexual harassment in the workplace and widespread disrespect for nurses.


You can view Neilson Dairy’s Live Ultimate campaign here 


What RNAO has done

 Last week, RNAO President Wendy Fucile wrote to Neilson Dairy to ask that they issue a public apology to nurses and the nursing profession and withdraw the ads immediately.


You can read Wendy’s letter here

Julia Kovacs, Director of Marketing for Neilson Dairy, sent a response to RNAO. Her letter stated that: “we wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the important and valuable work performed by nurses and the vital and necessary role the nursing profession plays in the delivery of high-quality health-care services in this province.” However, the letter went on to say that the Live Ultimate promotional campaign “is targeted towards a hard-to-reach youth demographic with the intention of encouraging them to make healthy beverage choices. The context of our campaign is meant to be captivating, healthy, wholesome and humorous.”


You can read Julia Kovacs' letter here 


It is clear that Neilson Dairy doesn’t understand that nurses are not an advertising device, and that campaigns like this one damage the professional reputation of nurses, lead to disrespect and harassment and undermine the important role nurses play in our health-care system.


RNAO has lodged a formal complaint with Advertising Standards Canada, as well as issuing this action alert to all members.




On Tuesday, August 13, 2008, RNAO received a letter of apology from Julia Kovacs, Marketing Director at Neilson Dairy indicating that they have removed all references to nurses in the Live Ultimate promotion campaign and that they will no longer have any depictions of nurses in future material. You can read Neilson Dairy's letter here.


To view our new updated page about Neilson Dairy's response please click here.



What you can do

Write a letter to Judy McCrie, Vice President and General Manager, Neilson Dairy, through our website. You can send our sample letter as is, or modify it as you wish. Please make sure to sign your name and RN title at the bottom of the letter.



Letter to Judy McCrie: