Infertility might be a sensitive subject to many, but apparently not for Ottawa music station Hot 89.9, which launched a “win a baby” competition with the prize of three rounds of fertility treatment valued at $35,000, the winner of which will be announced tomorrow.
Contestants had to convince listeners and a panel of judges that they were most deserving of a baby in order to win. While more than 400 applications poured into the station from a diverse group of women, same-sex couples and cancer patients eager to win the fertility treatment, many criticized the radio show’s insensitive marketing tactics to bring in contestants. For example, the show used the tagline “See who you think deserves to win a baby” and posters with a baby holding a sign saying “Win me.”
Beverly Hanck, executive director of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada, was quoted by The Guardian as saying, “The station is clearly capitalizing on vulnerable patients who are desperate to have a family. Has anyone stopped to think how the hundreds of patients who do not win are going to feel?”
The station replied that it was simply trying to do a good thing for families struggling to have children.
Hot 89.9 isn’t the first Canadian station to hand out eyebrow-raising prizes — other bizarre prizes given out in the past include breast implants and a Russian bride.