SYPHILIS TSUNAMI Billboards to “Put Pressure on Pfizer?” Here’s the Story Behind this Great Wave Campaign

Here’s the billboard, as seen when I was Down South en Los Angeles:

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And here’s the story behind it:

AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s “Syphilis Tsunami” outdoor advertising campaign references the world-renowned landscape print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Katsushika Hokusai to draw attention to dramatically rising rates of syphilis across the country. In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted an estimated 33% increase of infectious syphilis cases from 2014-2016. The national response needed to this growing public health crisis is made even more urgent by the fact that Pfizer, the manufacturer of Bicillin L-A, the preferred medication used to treat syphilis, has refused to meet the medical demand through constant drug shortages and multiple stockouts of the treatment over the past year, as widely reported by news organizations and health agencies.As a follow up to AHF’s groundbreaking “Syphilis Explosion” outdoor advertising campaign, the “Syphilis Tsunami” billboards will first appear in Los Angeles and will be complemented by a digital media campaign to draw attention to the national syphilis epidemic and to put pressure on Pfizer to supply Bicillin L-A in quantities that meets the growing demand for treatment.

OK then. It’s to pressure Pfizer into Doing More.

I’ll tell you, the billboard I saw near Beverley really stood out. You can”t miss it.

Compare with others:


See? Generally not as arresting as this:


(And the moral of the story is that if you are an artist and you don’t want people to do this to your stuff, then you should never die. That way, the 100-year waiting period (that I suppose is what applies in this case) won’t start and your art will never enter, how shall we say, the pubic domain.)

All right, DON’T Catch The Wave…

Oh, play us out, Katsu-kun:


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