Publicis Conseil has created a festive ad for a cancer treatment center in which Santa is diagnosed with the disease.

“A true story” launches today (18 December), highlighting the “incredible yet realistic hope” of cancer being cured. Part of Publicis’  wider “Working with cancer” campaign, it aims to raise funds for Gustave Roussy – the leading cancer center in France.

The ad, directed by Vladimir de Fontenay through Iconoclast, depicts Santa being diagnosed with cancer and then being treated and recovering. It ends with the statement: “Cancer can be cured and now, more than ever, is the time to believe in it.”

Kevin Salembier was copywriter and Nicolas Hurez art director.

It has been created pro bono by Publicis Conseil, with the support of Prodigious and Publicis Media, while agencies including TF1, NRJ, France Télévision, Canal, Gravity, Paramount and Snapchat have donated some of the media planning costs.

The ad is being shown on TV and digitally across France from 20 December, and then in cinemas.

Marco Venturelli, chief executive and chief commercial officer of Publicis Conseil, said: “Our agencies have always made Christmas films to sell products or services. This year, Santa Claus is defending the fight against cancer because he himself has been affected by the disease.

“We wanted to raise awareness with Gustave Roussy, but above all we wanted to convey a message of hope, and say that he has been cured thanks to the donations received for research.”

This article originally appeared on Campaign UK.