(cross posted on Legal Ethics Forum)
The MD Anderson Cancer Center, at the University of Texas, has been running television commercials in Chicago (and I presume elsewhere) for the past few months. MD Anderson is beyond question one of the premier cancer treatment facilities in the United States, drawing patients from well beyond Texas. The advertising campaign is obviously intended to lengthen its national reach, but I wonder if anyone else is concerned about the content of the ads.
This commercial, for example, consists almost entirely of testimonials by patients and medical personnel, including what appear to be promises of results, spoken mostly by doctors:
"You tried to take everyone. But I won't let you."
"We will stop you."
"Cancer, you're going to lose."
At best, these statements seem tremendously exaggerated. Perhaps they might even be seen as omitting "a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading." See MRPC 7.1. After all, even MD Anderson cannot guarantee that every patient "will win." ("And we are going to win" is the final line in the commercial.)
I showed this ad to my internist, a professor of medicine, who called it a "pretense of defeating cancer," while of course endorsing MD Anderson as "a wonderful place to get the best cancer care in the world."
Yes, I know that lawyer ads can be worse; often much worse. But I have never seen a television ad for a law firm with comparable international status to MD Anderson.
What do others think?