Killing the stigma that stands in the way of progress.

The absurdity that lung cancer is self-inflicted has slowed research funding, the adoption of early detection protocols, and routinely causes patients to be treated without dignity. Our challenge was to ignite conversations around the absurd: that if you have lung cancer, you deserve it, to drive awareness, understanding, and support for the cause.

Lung Cancer Alliance

No One Deserves to Die


Strategy, Social Media

Confronting the Truth

No one deserves to die. When that simple truth is forgotten, how can people’s misperceptions and biases be reversed?

In June 2012, a mysterious campaign provoked more than 30 U.S. cities with a media mix of PR and out-of-home placements that featured the victims of quiet discrimination – stating that they “deserve to die.”

Some find the creative shocking – but so is the stigma against people with lung cancer. When confronted with the news that someone have lung cancer, many ask “did they smoke?”

In reality, lung cancer doesn’t discriminate by age or whether or not someone smokes, quit years ago, or never smoked at all. It is this stigma that Lung Cancer Alliance charged us to eliminate.

Teasing Out a Response

We ignited the conversation with our provocative messaging and then let it burn.

To start the conversation, we placed out-of-home materials in dozens of major cities across the nation, supplemented by guerrilla building projections and cinema spots, which drove people to a website for the facts about lung cancer. To say that the conversation hit a nerve was an understatement:

  • The teaser was the second most popular story on Yahoo! from June 26-28, 2012
  • The Yahoo! story alone had over 5,500 comments, and generated over 2,000 mentions in blogs, forums and news sites
  • Broadcast news coverage across the nation had a PR value of nearly $200,000
  • We received over 4,800,000 PR impressions via broadcast coverage alone, with a PR value of $2,107,990
  • The campaign was featured in over 140 non-broadcast outlets including the  New York Times, CNN and Salon
  • And, while LCA + LC were prepared for the worst, 97% of the conversation was positive or neutral through July 24, 2012


Meaningful work that is awarded, and truly rewarding.

For decades, many organizations have tried to advance the cause of lung cancer. With less than $750,000 we challenged the familiar narrative, dominated the news cycle for days, forced people to talk about the disease, educated the masses, and had people join the cause. It continues to represent some of the most meaningful work of my career.

The campaign also received a variety of other accolades, including Best of Category – Advocacy/Non-profit Website, Integrated Campaigns, and Broadcast Commercial Video in the Horizon Interactive Awards; Best Advocacy Website in the Internet Advertising Competition; finalist in the Creative Media Awards; and was a merit award winner in The One Show.

Want to create a little mischief together?

I’m always looking for like-minded individuals to partner with. Looking to collaborate? Have a project in mind? Just want to chit-chat? Fill out the form below and I’ll respond within 48 hours.