Representatives of Honda and RPA Advertising should attend the annual Narcolepsy Network conference in Denver, CO Oct. 17-19, 2014.
This petition made change with 116 supporters!
Please join my petition to encourage representatives of Honda and RPA Advertising to take the next step, to learn the truth about narcolepsy, to meet directly with people with this chronic condition, by accepting Narcolepsy Network's invitation to attend their upcoming conference.
In June 2014 RPA Advertising produced a commercial for the 2015 Honda Fit entitled 'Synth and Seattleites'. In this commercial, several brief vignettes occur in which actors state their automotive needs and the Honda spokesperson says whether the Fit would be a good choice for them. One of the actors starts to say that he has a medical condition called narcolepsy, falls asleep before finishing his sentence, and begins to snore. The spokesperson then immediately says "You shouldn't be driving".
I applaud Honda for acting quickly to pull this commercial in repsonse to the tremendous outpouring of complaints from the narcolepsy community. However, it is disconcerting that a commercial with such a cartoonish, and inaccurate, portrayal of a person with narcolepsy (PWN) was produced in the first place. Narcolepsy is a life-altering chronic neurological condition which can present with a multitide of symptoms. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to, excessive daytime sleepiness, hallucinations during the transition into and out of sleep, fragmented sleep, and automatic behaviors. Most of these symptoms can be controlled with the appropriate use of medications and many treated PWN are very safe drivers.
Narcolepsy Network is a 1,000+ member non-profit organization whose mission includes advocacy and education for PWN. As part of this misson, we hold an annual conference in which 400+ PWN, their supporters, and internationally known researchers and medical providers meet to share information. This conference is the oldest and largest of its type in the USA and would provide Honda and RPA Advertising an unprecented learning opportuinty.
I want to encourage a continuing dialogue by having representatives from organizations which produced, promoted, and briefly aired this commercial at the conference. This participation would allow for the exchange of factual information about this serious medical condition. The interaction would provide an opportunity for the representatives to take information back to their respective companies and help prevent further episodes of disparagement against those with medical conditions. Additionally, these industry representatives would be able to provide Narcolepsy Network with methods to better interact with corporations in the future.
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