no kidding around
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2012 02:09 PM
The U.S. government's campaign to help smokers quit (and keep kids from starting the nasty habit) has led to calls to quit lines more than doubling. The main mind behind the campaign, Dr. Howard Koh, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, has been a force on the anti-smoking front for 20 years. He was involved in everything from the proposal to put highly graphic images on cigarette packaging and the movement to expand health insurance coverage for tobacco cessation.
While he’s been doing that, Australia’s Attorney General Nicola Roxon has also been hard at work trying to end the world’s fascination with cigarettes. While she was Health Minister in Australia, she launched the idea that all cigarette packs in the country should be sold in plain brown paper, which of course sent the legal departments of tobacco companies into a tizzy. As Attorney General, she is requiring that graphic warnings cover the large majority of the packs.
For their efforts, Koh and Roxon are being recognized at event in Washington, D.C. held by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which works to counter tobacco brands' marketing and frowns on advertising such as characters and other kid-friendly touches, such as Camel's pinkalicious print campaign at right.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 11, 2012 02:11 PM
The obesity debate continues to dominate the public conversation in America. Policymakers and nutritionists and bureaucrats pondered "The Weight of the Nation" at a federal-government conference this week while the four-part HBO series of the same name that debuts on Monday. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are trying to position their brands as part of the solution, via the lobby group where they're the 800 pound gorilla members at any meeting.
The American Beverage Association's "Delivering Choices" campaign has already launched on TV to promote "how America's beverage companies are making it easier to choose the drink that's right for you — with more choices, smaller portions, fewer calories and clear calorie labels." (The sub-text: consumers have choices, and should take personal responsbility for their weight and health.)
The campaign is now getting more targeted with local marketing in the Big Apple. A New York-centric website talks up the Delivering Choices platform while promoting good works by the ABA's members in the city, such as Dr Pepper Snapple Group funding playgrounds in Brooklyn, and the recent Great Recycle event staged by Coca-Cola's Honest Tea brand in Times Square. Facebook and Twitter marketing are reinforcing the messaging.
Now the ABA is expanding its NYC push to the subway system, with a new campaign placing posters on trains and in the stations — New York being the same market where the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has been promoting a healthy agenda, including a PSA campaign depicting their beverages with globs of fat and packets of sugar.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2012 04:54 PM
New York City’s health department does not want fries with that. Or with anything else. In fact, the agency would prefer that its residents don’t bother with fast food and soda altogether — and certainly not in bigger sizes.
A new set of subway posters, printed in both English and Spanish, illustrate “the steady increase in sizes of soda cups and sleeves of French fries against backdrops of unhealthy people, including a diabetic man who is missing most of one leg," as the New York Times notes. The image, as seen at right, draws attention to the amputated leg.
The objective of the city's latest public health campaign is to show how obesity and diabetes have grown as issues at the same time that serving sizes have increased, and their devastating consequences.
“The portion sizes that are marketed are often much more than humans need,” stated Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, taking a cue from his boss — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose administration is a veteran of shockvertising to grab the public's attention.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2011 11:31 AM
Big-tobacco companies have been losing battles for years as smokers have been run out of bars and restaurants across America as well as heavy taxes that help fund anti-smoking programs. The anti-tobacco marketing appear to have helped make smoking uncool, with less than 20% of American adults smoking last year, part of a "decades-long decline" as the Wall Street Journal puts it.
So tobacco companies cheered the recent blocking by a U.S. judge blocking the U.S. government's move forcing tobacco companies to put nasty imagery on its packaging to show smokers what might happen to them if they continue inhaling their nicotine.
Now the Associated Press reports that the tobacco companies have another reason to pass around cigars: “States have cut funding for tobacco prevention programs 12 percent this year, to the lowest level since 1999,” according to a new report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society and other groups.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2011 05:33 PM
Yes, William Shatner is nothing if not multifaceted and unpredictable. After the pinnacle accomplishment of his career — portraying Captain James Kirk on Star an unbelievable 40 years ago — when he could have become a footnote in the pop-culture past, who knew the Canadian-born actor would find a second career as a funnyman, and a spokesman, by appearing in commercials for a then up-and-coming dot-com, Priceline?
But that Shat did, and Priceline's subsequent success became the stuff of endorsement history. And now that Shatner's most recent attempt at "serious" acting, in last year's CBS comedy $#*! My Dad Says, is defunct, he's got to do something else with that outsized ego comic persona, right?
Well, how about promoting awareness of turkey-fryer fires for State Farm Insurance? That's right, after personally suffering from a turkey-fryer accident, the bombastic actor and pitch man has graciously lent his comic timing and faux gravitas to the insurer's efforts to stamp out this underappreciated form of holiday danger.
His two-commercial campaign is being promoted on Twitter with a hashtag, #ShatnerFryersClub, which encourages folks to pay attention (and have a Happy Shatsgiving). It's no joking matter, and if it gets people to pay attention, so much the better. State Farm cites grim stats, such as how Texas leads for reporting the most grease- and cooking-related claims around Thanksgiving over the previous five years.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 3, 2011 03:03 PM
The U.S. government is always happy to make a few extra tax dollars but there is one source of tax cash that they are hoping to stop receiving — and are even willing to spend money to try and help make it end.
We’re talking, of course, about cigarettes, the cough-inducing habit that our culture is working hard to stamp out with its collective heel. That stamping often comes in the form of so-called sin taxes so high that it can cost close to $15 to buy a pack of smokes in New York City. And, of course, there are the nasty packages slated for Sept. 2012 that will inform consumers of just what tobacco can do to you or your unborn child that cigarette manufacturers will soon have to put their product in.
Uncle Sam is now planning to augment the graphic shock packaging with the dreaded E word: education.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 10, 2011 10:58 AM
France is the latest nation to impose a so-called fat tax on sugary beverages (except for zero-calorie diet drinks), while American campaigns to curb the consumption of non-diet sugary beverages continues.
Los Angeles county just launched a public awareness campaign, its first aimed at 'sugar-loaded' beverages.
LA's move follows a high-profile campaign earlier this year by New York City targeting soda consumption, citing statistics such as few sugary drinks a day adds up to 93 packets of sugar and leads to serious health issues and disease.
Sugary drinks are the number one source of calories in the average American diet and health advocates are still reeling from the recent rejection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of a pilot proposal banning soda from New York food stamp purchases proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Despite such efforts, more than 50% of Americans still drink too much soda with the highest consumption among minorities, the poor and the young, according to a recent study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 13, 2011 12:41 PM
New York City aimed to disgust New Yorkers on the notion of imbibing sugary beverages with a graphic campaign that launched last fall (all that was missing were street signs warning, "Don't even think about drinking that soda.")
Now it's Boston's turn to crack down on sweetened soda brands. Beantown officials have launched a public health media blitz including spots that state: "Don’t get smacked by fat. Calories from sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks can cause obesity and type 2 diabetes."
As you'll see below, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is on a mission to rid the streets of the public health scourges.Continue reading...