Instead of being coined Ward Wars , the battle among Orange County hospitals should be called Reward Wars , as each is competing for a greater share of the lucrative health care market with an anticipation of increased business and higher profits ("Orange County Hospitals Stage Marketing Blitz," Feb. 7).
It is debatable whether their advertising campaigns are cost effective and attract new business or are just a huge waste of monies. Apparently, the hospitals themselves believe the ads are worthwhile, as they keep pouring more money into them each year. I am not convinced. To date, there is no conclusive data that shows the direct effect of these ads on hospital business.
The quality of the ads vary greatly. Some are innovative, clever and well polished. Others are shallow and not thought out. Some are downright absurd.
For example, one ad, which gave me heartburn, looks as if it was designed by a horror movie special effects department. On one billboard is a humongous, grotesque-looking heart thumping away at a rate of 55 beats per minute. The ad seems more appropriate for a horror flick titled "Attack of the Pulsating Heart."