An advertising campaign designed to raise awareness of motor neurone disease has received a strong backlash from commuters.
This week, the Motor Neurone Disease Association unveiled three posters placed at Underground and National Rail stations.
One advert tells the story of 34-year-old Michael, who says that he was the only one of his friends who did not take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge last summer.
The challenge, which started in America, became an internet sensation when celebrities started nominating their friends to throw freezing water over themselves in a bid to raise awareness and money for The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association.
In bold letters, the main text leading the billboard reads: "Last summer, I was the only person I knew who didn't do the Ice Bucket Challenge. Five months later I was diagnosed with motor neurone disease."
Michael's words have created a backlash on Twitter, with many users criticising the campaign for suggesting that getting the disease is "karma" for not participating in the challenge.
He was too cool to join in the Internet fun.ADVERTISEMENT
Now he has payed the ultimate price. pic.twitter.com/cqbXrYZnXa— Godfrey Elfwick (@GodfreyElfwick) June 1, 2015
Looks like I now have Motor Neurone Disease to look forward to, since I didn't do the ice bucket challenge. https://t.co/xrOIRpenG9— Jade (@88jdub) June 1, 2015
@twlldun Jeez, I best do it now just in case. I don't want motor neurone disease.— Damien Healy (@damienhealy) June 1, 2015
Shit shit shit shit, I'm going to get Motor Neurone Disease and its all your fault as no fucker nominated me for it https://t.co/4jJ9ZCx4Lt— Dave O'Connor (@ComeDineWithPad) June 1, 2015
I didn't participate in Red Nose Day and now I'm a small african child with a distended abdomen.June 1, 2015
@GodfreyElfwick this is what happens when you don't join in on the latest fad— Dylan, The Cutest (@UberForce7) June 1, 2015
@GodfreyElfwick Well, talk about guilt trips.— GuitarAnthony (@GuitarAnthony) June 1, 2015
@GodfreyElfwick If only I had known you get MND from not making stupid videos of yourself. Now it's too late. Serves me right.— Burkhard Яeike (@Verklagekasper) June 1, 2015
I didn't buy the first Band Aid single, and I am now a starving Ethiopian child.
- cc @mndassoc— Alan Turkington (@thisisalanturk) June 1, 2015
@mndassoc twitter reaction shows your ad has backfired massively. The clear implication is that if you didn't do the challenge you might die— Chris Atkins (@scatatkins) June 1, 2015
Motor neuron disease is a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system. There is no known cure and many suffers die within a few years of diagnosis.
Stephen Hawking has defied scientists and is still living with the condition more than 50 years after being diagnosed.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association's Director of External Affairs, Chris James, told The Huffington Post UK that some people's reaction to the campaign has come as a shock to the charity and he said that they never intended to suggest that those who did not do the challenge would get the disease.
He said: "We thought that Michael's story was very powerful and poignant and certainly at no point did we suggest that if you didn't do the Ice Bucket Challenge you would get motor neurone disease.
"What we were aiming to do on the campaign posters on the Underground and National Rail was show how indiscriminate it is across all communities. It's a devastating condition.
"This year was the last chance to talk to an audience about the Ice Bucket Challenge."
Mr James said that the charity was trying to tell people some more about motor neuron disease and added that, with the "excitement" of last year's challenge, some of those messages about the disease might have got lost.
Michael's story is one of three posters that have been places at tube stations on the London Underground and National Rail.
Mr James said he first read about Michael's story in the Leicester Mercury.
In the article, Michael discusses his recent wedding and the shock of being diagnosed with motor neurone disease just months after the Ice Bucket Challenge became an internet sensation.
Michael tells the paper: “I reckon I was probably one of the only people who didn’t do it.”
The article reads: "All this, he says, half-joking, it’s karma. And Michael rolls his eyes and laughs, and his friend David Moss laughs and his wife, Tracy, laughs along, too."