Over 50,000 people have downloaded an organ donor registration form since Friday night’s hoax tv broadcast in which three people competed for a dying woman’s kidney.
Some 1.2 million people watched the broadcast on public channel BNN, which had been condemned by politicians, doctors and commentators around the globe.
The woman was revealed at the end of the show to be an actress and the patients were all in on the plot.
Newspapers and websites on Monday were largely positive about the hoax, designed to promote organ donation.
Education minister Ronald Plasterk said it was ‘a fantastic stunt’, and prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende said he was relieved. He had feared the show would damage the Netherlands’ reputation. But health minister Ab Klink still thought the show ‘unfitting’.
Balkenende may still be proved right in his first reaction. Of the more than 100 journalists who covered the show, half came from outside the country, and many of them are angry at being fooled.
A Spanish reporter called the show ‘a bad way of calling attention to the problem’, and several German newspaper sites said it was ‘a bad joke’.
However, there was also appreciation. PR guru Mark Borkowski said in the Guardian that the show was ‘a clever publicity stunt’.