Controversial health care ad pulled after ministry loses appeal

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Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health, Welfare and Sport has decided to remove the "The Netherlands is changing, healthcare is changing along" advertisements from the website www.dezorgverandertmee.nl.

She made the decision despite the fact that the Advertising Code Commission did not order the ads' removal. According to Schippers, this step is necessary to prevent further discussion on the commercials. She feels that the discussions obscure the purpose of the campaign - informing citizens about the changes in health care.

End last year Union FNV Zorg & Welzijn (FNV Care & Welfare) filed a complaint with the Advertising Code Commission stating that these advertisements are misleading. On Wednesday the Commission ruled that while the campaign commercials are "an accurate representation of statutory entitlements to healthcare", the commercials could have been more informative by explicitly indicating that the care that people receive may vary according to individual situations.

Schippers has decided to end the discussion by removing the advertisements from the site. The ministry will take the Commission's comments into account in future advertisements and campaigns.

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