Parenthood group defends 'scaremongering' sperm and eggs advertising campaign

Netizens have criticised advertisements by voluntary group I Love Children, which were placed in train stations this week.
Netizens have criticised advertisements by voluntary group I Love Children, which were placed in train stations this week. PHOTO: I LOVE CHILDREN

SINGAPORE - A voluntary welfare group that advocates early parenthood has defended an advertising campaign showing cartoons of sperm and eggs rowing together in a boat.

The advertisements were placed in train stations by I Love Children (ILC) this week with slogans like "Even the best marksman could miss the target" and "Women are born with a finite number of eggs" in an effort to get people to conceive earlier while they are more fertile.

Netizens have criticised them for being distasteful, while women's rights group the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) has called the campaign "scaremongering", saying it might have an emotional impact on women who might be infertile or suffered miscarriages previously.

ILC president Joni Ong maintained that the campaign is about educating couples.

Conceding that this year's campaign has provoked a much stronger reaction than previous ones, she said on Thursday: "Yes, these advertisements are very much in your face, but they generated talk that we didn't get in previous years when our visuals were more muted. If this leads to more awareness, then it is good."

The advertisements will run at train stations for a month, while an ILC bus will visit busy areas such as shopping malls for the rest of the year.