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German ad exploits King Harald

The Norwegian King’s cancer illness has been used to advertise for a German test which detects bladder cancer.

The German pharmaceutical company Matritech advertises for its own product in a press release with the title “King Harald: Was the removal of your bladder inevitable?”

According to the Norwegian paper VG, the King’s illness was described in detail, and it stated that King Harald was at risk of developing cancer and that he should have been tested because he “has been a smoker over a longer period of time.”

The press release was written by the PR agency MasterMedia on behalf of the pharmaceutical company Matritech.

“I don’t believe they can possibly know enough about the King’s illness to send out a press release like that,” said Hans Geelmuyden, communication advisor at Geelmuyden.Keise, to the paper. “This is “vulgar PR” at its worst.”

However, Matritech CEO Franz Maier claims the campaign was done in good faith in order to provide information about the illness and the test.

“We have no ethical questions regarding this, and we never discussed such issues,” Maier stated.

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