Was 'butcher knife baby' necessary in safe sleep ad?

Going too far?

/ Milwaukee Health Dept.

A provocative campaign unveiled last Wednesday features two posters of a baby lying in a bed next to a large knife. The copy says, "YOUR BABY SLEEPING NEXT TO YOU CAN BE JUST AS DANGEROUS."

The campaign makers say they want people to be aware of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, which often results from "unsafe sleep," according to the Milwaukee Health Department's website. A form of "unsafe sleep" is bed-sharing with parents.

"Is it shocking? Is it provocative? Yes, But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better infant death rates than Milwaukee." City health commissioner Bevan Baker told the Journal Sentinel.

The city set a goal of reducing the infant mortality rate for African Americans by 15 percent, and the overall rate by 10 percent by 2017.

The communications officer for the Milwaukee Health Department said the city ran similarly provocative ads a year and a half ago, and received an overwhelmingly positive response. All ads follow up on the initial shock they may cause by offering a phone number for parents to call to receive a free Pack ~N Play, a collapsible crib, she said.

Mayor Tom Barrett told ABC News, "If the ads make some people uncomfortable, I guarantee it TMs a lot less uncomfortable than having another baby die from co-sleeping," a cause of death that is "so preventable," he added.

What do you think? Is this ad over the top? Or does it make the point it should?

Read more: Milwaukee Health Department