The Kidney Wales Foundation welcomes the recent decision of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to reject complaints that its Donate Wales organ donation campaign advert Save Sian was distressing and likely to cause particular distress to people awaiting donated organs, their families, and the families of organ donors.

Kidney Wales also received a small number of direct complaints from members of the pubic with similar concerns and has explained personally to each complainant the reasoning and importance for such a hard-hitting television commercial.

The charity worked closely with staff at the University Hospital of Wales Children’s Kidney Unit in both the development and making of the advert, to be certain that its content and subject matter rectified the true reality for a paediatric patient waiting for a kidney transplant.

The ASA said it sympathised with those viewers who had found the advert upsetting and understood that the issues it raised were very emotive. It considered that most viewers would understand that the ad was raising awareness for organ donation and would accept that the advert had to be hard-hitting to convey the importance of that message.

It also noted that the advert was given a post-19.30 restriction, which prevented it from broadcast before, during or immediately after children’s programming or early in the evening, which meant it was unlikely to be seen by very young children.

It considered that the advert was unlikely to cause undue distress to most viewers, or particular distress to people awaiting donated organs, their families, or the families of organ donors.

The Council concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause fear or distress to children in particular, and that the post 19.30 restriction was appropriate.

Roy J. Thomas, Chairman of the Kidney Wales Foundation, said: We welcome the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision and thank them for their understanding.

We did not take the decision to make such a hard-hitting television commercial lightly. Wales is in the grips of an organ donor crisis that is costing the life of one person every 11 days waiting for a transplant. That is why we made such a powerful, yet factual, commercial that will lead to more people who want to help joining the Organ Donor Register.

For more information about the Save Sian campaign or to view the advert visit www.donatewales.org/savesian.