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TV show ads a bitter pill for hospital

They aren’t laughing at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles over the clown billboards and bus stop ads around town advertising “Childrens Hospital.”

Administrators of the Sunset Boulevard hospital have issued a memo to staff members assuring them that the promotions for the weekly Adult Swim cable TV network’s show of that name are not part of a hospital advertising campaign gone awry.

The billboards depict a doctor in clown makeup who is more likely to yell at kids than cure them. The clown role, which features bloody scrubs, is played by the show’s creator, Rob Corddry. In its fourth year, the series is seen locally Thursdays at midnight on the Cartoon Network.

Producers of “Childrens Hospital” could not be reached for comment late Monday.

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Hospital Vice President DeAnn Marshall’s memo notes that “people are questioning whether the ads are part of the ongoing CHLA branding campaign.” They’re not, she stressed, adding, “If friends, family or other members of the community raise the issue, please assure them we are not affiliated with the show or its advertisements.”

Marshall noted that like the TV show title, the real Children’s Hospital did not use an apostrophe in its name until two years ago. That’s because the symbol was missing from the typewriter used when the hospital was incorporated in 1901, she said.

And people in clown costumes and makeup are not allowed in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“We do observe a no-clown policy because they can be scary for some kids,” Marshall said.

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bob.pool@latimes.com


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