Here are some of the success stories when companies who’ve ridiculed and demonised mental health folks for fun and profit (or have done so inadvertently) have been challenged … and changed their ways. Challenging companies involved in selling stigma is worthwhile because it can and does produce change that makes a difference to the everyday lives of mental health folks like me.
- Greene King pubs – Bournmouth pub Halloween weekend mental asylum theme (October) – posters for the event were noticed by psychiatrist Rory Conn at 10pm Sunday eve and within 12 hours Greene King had had all the posters taken down & said it would be giving diversity training to its Bournmouth staff – result!
- House of Marbles – Twisty Mix Up – Multiple Personality Disorder (September) – House of Marbles gets the trophy for a swift and effective response: within a couple of hours of it being drawn to their attention, they immediately removed the reference on the children’s marble toy to “multiple personality disorder” on their trade websites and said the point-of-sale packaging would be changed too. Bravo House of Marbles! Show them how it’s done.
- ISS Game Studio – Bipolar Chick game (April) – This “fun” game was swiftly withdrawn (removed from Google Play and YouTube) by the developer after online complaints.
- “OCD Chef” products (September 2014) seem to be have been rebranded Obsessive Chef instead (April
- Jokers’ Masquerade – A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority which found that their ad for “Schitzo” fancy dress costumes breached the advertising code, banned it and required references to mental illness to be removed.
- Joy the Store – “Don’t get mad, take lithium” card was eventually withdrawn by the company (see more on the Hall of Shame page)
- Thorpe Park – Asylum – The “scary mental patient” live action horror maze for Fright Nights was rebranded for the 2014 Halloween season after the company was reported to the police for hate crimes. (See more on the separate Thorpe Park tab.)
- Asda’s “mental patient” fancy dress costumes – These were withdrawn by the company after a public outcry