Intuitive Surgical last week agreed to pull ads for its controversial Da Vinci robots that feature University of Illinois Health & Hospital System physicians after university officials complained. Some of the physicians featured in the ads were paid consultants for Intuitive, although they did not get paid for appearing in the ad.
“We asked Intuitive to suspend the ad,” Thomas Hardy, executive director of university relations, wrote the “Not Running a Hospital Blog,” whose author Paul Levy had written several blistering blog posts attacking the university for allowing its faculty to tout a private company's product. The ad originally ran in the New York Times. “Our request was based on a business decision; we were concerned that the ad was not benefiting UI Health.”