Public Relations Fail

One wonders what the Montana State Fund was thinking when they came up with a billboard campaign reminiscent of World War II-era concentration camps.

At Dauchau

At Dauchau

The Montana State Fund’s “Work Heals” billboard campaign is eerily similar to the “Work Liberates” or “Work Makes You Free” signs and slogans welcoming people to Auschwitz and a number of other concentration camps.


At Auschwitz


At Theresienstadt

These were all slogans used to facilitate the psychological breakdown of camp prisoners. According to this photography website, the work was done by Partners Creative, who for some reason does not feature these billboards on their site.  Perhaps the firm is more aware of the creepiness of the slogan than the people running the Montana State Fund.

The Montana State Fund is a strange hybrid between a public and a private corporation which sells workers compensation insurance.  It appears to want all of the benefits of being a private corporation while asking the state of Montana to pay any of its bills or debts it doesn’t want to pay. Case in point: the head of the Montana State Fund earns a salary three times that of Montana’s Governor, as Montana State Sen. Jim Keane (D-Butte) points out.

You can see these billboards up around Helena. work heals 1


33 Comments on "Public Relations Fail"

  1. This is a non-story. The motto is appropriate; the misleading and deadly use of the same by the Nazis was reprehensible. If SF is not living up to its motto, show us that. But lots of folks bill themselves as competent when they are anything but.

    • You are right. The facts support return to work programs helping employees to return up to 3 times faster than work environments without such programs. The data shows RTW programs does help workers heal. People here don’t seem to understand that a paycheck pays more than worker’s comp checks. Keeping workers comp cost as low as possible helps keep Montana competitive to retain existing businesses and attract new ones which means JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      IMHO, the point of the ad is to remind businesses and employees that it is to their benefit to invest in RTW programs. It’s win-win.

  2. Somebody at the State Fund needs to take a history class. This would never fly in another state. Terrible.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 17, 2014 8:02 AM at 8:02 AM |

      Agreed. It IS creepy to anyone who knows history. And actually, WORK SUCKS! Especially now days when one must work all the time and forever! You see, there is no retirement any longer! Once you can no longer work at your real job, you must become either a walmart greeter or floor sweeper at mcdonalds! The only hope for boomers is to fall over dead on your way to work! THEN, you’ll be healed!

      “Are you afraid of dying, Zorba”?
      “Death? No, boss. Rest”.

  3. I’ve been bit here by these billboards for some time. They are in Billings too. And the fact that Lonnie Hubbard makes $320,000 a year for this kind of idiocy needs to stop!

    • Should read “bothered” rather than “Bit here” above. I have not been bitten by any billboards in Montana as if yet.

  4. Drunks for Denny | June 17, 2014 9:21 AM at 9:21 AM |

    The guy in the hardhat looks like he just enjoyed a toke of medical marijuana, so maybe work does heal.

  5. Wow, that’s almost more than UM’s president is making! Guess I know the main job to get when I leave office, you know, the one that pays the most and allows you to screw the most people.

    The vast majority of people that are seeing those signs aren’t making the connections you’re making, however. People don’t know history, and certainly not enough to pick those signs out.

    And come now, you’re going to expect me to believe that those are the only kinds of signs like that in the world? Please!

    We had all kinds of signs like that in China. Billboards like “Work Brings Prosperity, Prosperity Brings Life”

    People ignored them.

  6. Why does the State Fund need to advertise, let alone advertise by plastering Orwellian messages on billboards?

    • Looks like the state fund is trying to convince people to return to work quickly so that it doesn’t have to pay their work comp benefits anymore.

  7. I[m not surprised one bit. RTW programs work and work well. SF bungled the message. As a small business owner I interact with SF regularly – I understand the people who graduated in the bottom 5% of my high school class have to have jobs, but do they all have to work at State Fund?

  8. Actually, I enjoy work. The sense of doing something useful or creating something of use is far more appealing to me than gathering free stuff.
    The idea of retiring or not working repels me.
    Oh, sorry, I’m a Republican.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 17, 2014 5:58 PM at 5:58 PM |

      Free stuff??? Care to clarify??? Oh I forgot. You mean Cliven Scumby down there in Bungholeville, Nevada. He get’s LOTS of free stuff ’cause he’s so special. He don’t recognize no federal gummint! As most of your followers that steal stuff from the commonwealth! Ever hear of the commonwealth? No? Sounds to much like commie ism to you, right? Things held in common for the common good, like public lands. Which you morons want to steal and give to the Kockh brothers. Sorry, but that ain’t gonna happen.

      BTW, what do YOU do that’s so “useful”? Too funny. You a teacher, Davey? Doctor? Engineer?? Dishwasher?? What do YOU do that a couple’a wetbacks couldn’t do for sixteenth the price? And probably better! Nuhtin’ I’m thinkin’. But please, do tell us why you are so vital the economy? I’ll wait.

      And Davey, you’re not a Republican. You’re teabilly the whole way!

      • And a Vulcan salute to you, Kamerad Krotch.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 18, 2014 5:23 PM at 5:23 PM |

          And a Bundy salute to you, dave! Did you go down there to Bungholeville, Nevada with Payne’s Pansies? Not a real bright move. Them boys is gonna be bondin’ with Bubba here REAL soon. I mean, come on. Even YOU are not dumb enough to murder a man over cow sh*t, are you dave???

          You see, you gotta be a JERK in the box to be with those inbreds. With a jack in the box, when you wind it up, out pops a clown. With the Bundy jerk in the box crowd, wind it up and out pops “the negro”!………and they become the clowns!

          Amazing how close this came to a bloodbath. That would’a pretty much ended the so called mlisha movement for good. You see, dave, when your entire game plan consists of retarded inbreds shootin’ innocent people, your chances for success are greatly diminished! These dudes are NOT your high IQ folks!!

  9. Possibly Partners Creative are responsible for the ad. Look under social change and economic development sections.

    Here are their people.

    Applying the Nazi label to the work product of fellow Dems seems a bit harsh.

    This advertizing firm is out of Missoula.

      • Gosh, even the Nazi lovin’ crickets have gone silent. Is there an earthquake on the way?????

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 17, 2014 6:06 PM at 6:06 PM |

          Maybe they’re up there protecting CEEment Jaysus!…

          HEY, CEEment Jaysus needs your protection too you know! I mean, it gives him sumthin’ to do, and makes him feel useful for the useful idiot crowd!

          From your site:

          ” Studies show that most people who are injured on the job would love to be back at work as soon as possible. (oh really?!) In fact, people who don’t get back to work soon tend to have more physical and mental difficulties. (um, maybe because they’re friggin’ INJURED!) We took this idea that ‘Work Heals’ and featured happy, injured employees returning to their jobs and co-workers, showing how the place made them feel better and more productive.” (thanks, ratco and ricky hill, for destroying our worker comp system in this state!)

          HEY, nothing beats “happy, injured workers”! I mean, when I get injured I’m just so damn happy I nearly orgasm!

          Too funny. These morons runnin’ this thing are a joke!

          • If you happened to read the links you would have discovered that Partners Creative ad campaign “Work Heals” for Montana’s State Fund is award winning. Most of them PC folks are Dems too. Appears CG didn’t do the necessary homework before bringing out the Nazi label upon your own kind. Your attempts at deflection with BS nonsense are duly noted. Tooooo funny!!!!!!!!

            • This gets even more comical when the truth comes out that this ad campaign started in 2011 under (GASP!!!) Schweitzer!!!!
              Work Heals: Return to Work Media Campaign
              January, 2013
              After a workplace injury, Montanans understand that getting back on the job is job number one. An effective Return to Work (RTW) program can help. It speeds recovery, improves workers’ self-esteem and reduces the impact on your company’s productivity

              To encourage Montana business owners to develop an RTW program, MSF is once again running our successful Work Heals (Return to Work) media campaign. The statewide Work Heals campaign is currently airing on network television and cable, radio, and billboards. The campaign began on February 3 and wraps up March 31.

              This successful campaign first rolled out in November 2011. In that time, the campaign’s television and radio ads have received communications awards from the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds (AASCIF).

              We have created a free Return to Work kit for anyone who would like one. We also have an RTW specific area on our safety focused website to If you would like an RTW kit contact a customer service specialist at 800-332-6102.
              +++End Quote

            • If by “award winning” you mean by the Montana Association of State Work Comp Funds, that’s hardly something to tout. Any time your campaign evokes, in any way, one of the most horrific tragedies in human history, you have failed. You put up a weak straw man to try to claim this is about whether return to work programs have value or not. No one is disputing that. This is about whether its a good idea create for yourself a slogan similar to that of a Nazi death camp. It isn’t.

              • Jan, where do you get that???? It’s the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds that provided the award to the Montana Fund for the “Work Heals” campaign designed by Partners Creative.

                • Who gives a shit if some nobody association of work comp executives praises this idiocy – only you it seems . This ad is an embarrassment.

                  • Paul, take it up with your fellow Dems such as Laurence Hubbard the CEO of Montana’s State Fund. It’s a hoot and a riot that this award winning program “Work Heals” has been active since 2011 when Schweitzer was guv and administered by Dem Laurence Hubbard one of our state’s highest paid public employees. Where was the outrage when this program was launched under Hubbard and Schweitzer? Three years later and now Cowgirl has a Nazi cow over it? What gives? Circular firing squad?

  10. Aware and Not stupid | June 17, 2014 9:04 PM at 9:04 PM |

    Goodness Cowpie, you’re really serving up the Koolaide today with this nonsense. Slow news day? Lanny Hubbard is one of yours, he’s an entrenched Democrat, always has been. What’d ol’ Lanny ever do to you? And since when is it wrong to get your butt back to work after a work related accident? Oh wait, I get it, better to sit around and work the system and keep getting paid from Worker’s Comp to do it! Cowpie, you need new material!

  11. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 17, 2014 9:11 PM at 9:11 PM |

    “And since when is it wrong to get your butt back to work after a work related accident?”

    Like you’d know anything about work that involves physical danger, cupcake! You see, dude, a PAPER cut ain’t sackly the same as a real injury!!

  12. Can never remember user name but it was clever | June 19, 2014 10:08 PM at 10:08 PM |

    I love your blog and send people I know to it, Cowgirl, but I think this one was a swing and a miss. Linking the State Fund campaign to Nazi death camps? No. Just no. It’s a long, long stretch. I’m still a fan, but this one is just wrong.

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