This post was written by Ryan Johnson.
Radio stations have been holding contests for their listeners for about as long as they've been on the air. And scandals surrounding those contests are just about as old. In 2007, a 28-year-old California woman died from water intoxication after competing to win a Wii gaming system, and way back in 1938, a radio station broadcast an adaptation of the novel, War of the Worlds, which caused panic and hysteria among its listeners.
The latest contest added to the controversial list comes out of Ottawa, Canada. CNN is reporting that Hot 89.9 hosted a contest for couples to try to "Win a Baby!" Here's how it worked: Couples wrote essays on why they think they should be chosen to win. From those entries, the stations chose five couples to compete. On Tuesday, the winner was announced, and all five couples were awarded the grand prize of three IVF treatments each.
While the title of the contest seems a little sensationalistic (and maybe not completely accurate since IVF can't guarantee a pregnancy), I think the station's heart was in the right place. It held the contest in response to Quebec's recent passing of government-funded fertility treatments for couples struggling to have a baby, a novel and incredible law in itself.
Critics, however, don't see it that way. They're lambasting the radio station for exploiting these couples and turning "babies into products." Yes, the station is probably getting publicity for holding this contest (as evidenced by this writing), but it also just gave five couples the chance to have a baby who otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford it. Whatever its motives, that's reason enough to applaud the powers that be behind the contest.
What do you think? Was this contest in bad taste or a great chance to help couples realize their dreams of having a baby? Sound off below.