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Psychiatrist kills ads to pay ransom

A leading child psychiatrist got thousands of emails this week criticizing a provocative advertising campaign by his center to raise awareness of mental illness in children. The New York Times linkurl:reported;http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/business/media/20child.html that Harold Koplewicz, the director of New York University's Child Study Center, received more than 3,000 emails in response to the ads, which used fake ransom notes to call attention to autism and depression in children. For e

By | December 20, 2007

A leading child psychiatrist got thousands of emails this week criticizing a provocative advertising campaign by his center to raise awareness of mental illness in children. The New York Times linkurl:reported;http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/business/media/20child.html that Harold Koplewicz, the director of New York University's Child Study Center, received more than 3,000 emails in response to the ads, which used fake ransom notes to call attention to autism and depression in children. For example: ''We have your son. We will make sure he will no longer be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives.'' Koplewicz told the Times that 70% of those emails were negative, and in response, the Center has decided to end the campaign. Koplewicz's name may be familiar to readers of The Scientist. He was the co-author of a linkurl:piece on childhood psychosis;http://www.the-scientist.com/supplement/2007-12-1/ in our recently published linkurl:supplement;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/12/01/s22/1/ on schizophrenia. The point of that supplement was to raise awareness of schizophrenia in the research community, and help set the agenda for research into the devastating condition. Koplewicz was no doubt hoping to do the same with the ads.

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