WASHINGTON, DC–Spokespersons for the National Bedwetters Society announced Monday that the organization will scrap a nationwide campaign intended to "raise awareness of our members' plight" and "put a positive face" on the disorder.
"For years, bedwetters have hidden their heads in shame, frightened that people would find out about their terrible secret," said National Bedwetters Society director Peter Bey. "But after giving it some thought, we decided that we'd like it to stay that way."
In an unaired television spot produced for the campaign, Americans from all walks of life are shown looking into the camera and saying, "I wet the bed," as their names and cities of residence are displayed at the bottom of the screen.
The spot ends with a toll-free number sufferers can call to receive information on support groups in their area, as well as receive hats, T-shirts and bumper stickers proudly proclaiming, "I Urinate In My Sleep."
"The ads were supposed to show that bedwetters are regular people just like you and me, and that any of your friends, co-workers or loved ones may have this problem," said Bey, wearing an oversized fedora, sunglasses and a fake moustache. "It was a way for people like me to stand up and say, 'I wet the bed, and I'm not ashamed.' But after giving it some thought, we decided to pass on it."
The campaign, Bey noted, would have also increased bedwetters' awareness of the help currently available to them.
"Unfortunately, few bedwetters realize that there are many places they can turn to for help," Bey said. "A lot of companies offer employees coverage or co-payment on adult diapers, rubber sheets and new mattresses. It's often as simple as asking your departmental head for the proper nocturnal-urination subsidy forms, then filling them out with the assistance of your company's human-resources coordinator and obtaining the voucher signatures of two co-workers."
The National Bedwetters Society had planned to focus on children between the ages of 5 and 14, who make up a large portion of the bedwetting population. A $300,000 "Kid Kampaign" would have sent NBS mascots "Puddles The Pooch" and "Soaky The Salmon" on a tour of elementary and junior-high schools around the nation, performing skits in which Puddles is embarrassed about his bedwetting until Soaky convinces him that "wetter is better."
Young bedwetters would then have been invited to come onstage to sing "I'm A Bedwetter" in front of their classmates. They also would have been given yellow "I'm A Whiz Kid!" bandannas and temporary tattoos to help them overcome the stigma often attached to the condition.
"Our trial run of the skit in eight D.C.-area elementary schools was not as successful as we had hoped," said National Bedwetters Society public-relations director "Steve," who requested that his real name not be used. "Despite our best efforts, we didn't raise the self-esteem of the young bedwetters in the crowd all that much. I guess some esteem is better left unraised."