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Public Health Ads

From clever anti-smoking campaigns to misinformation on the flu.

I’ve been doing a bit of research on public health-awareness advertising campaigns, and thought I’d share some highs and lows. First, the good: I came across this gallery of compelling, clever anti-smoking ads and installations:

Anti-smoking ad

Anti-smoking ad

Now, the not-so-good. Steven Heller’s article, The Art of the Flu Poster highlights sub-par anti-flu campaigns (some boring, some confusing) and states that advertisements needs to convey information about flu risks and prevention in a more compelling, useful manner:

Staid posters, routinely issued by health care organizations like the United Nations World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, are devoid of imagination (and good typography). Posters produced by these agencies run the gamut from bland instruction guides on how to “wash your hands properly” to poor attempts at levity using cartoon representations of symptoms, in which fever, fatigue, headache and others come alive as silly little characters.

Flu ad

Lastly, some bulls*t. Today, a Peta advertisement was banned for implying that eating meat can cause swine flu. Peta claims the ad “was not intended to suggest eating meat caused swine flu, but rather highlight the role that livestock production played in the incubation, development and spreading of fatal infectious diseases” but the ASA ruled against the ad because it was “ambiguous.” I think Peta’s (wrong) message doesn’t leave all that much room for interpretation:


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AndreaOct 14, 2009

Comments on this post


I’m a member of PETA that is People Eating Tasty Animals

Widowmaker at 11:52am on Wed, Apr 21st.


fuck petaacc

Anonymous at 1:25pm on Thu, May 10th.


PETA can back the f*ck off. They can stop eating meat if they want to, you don’t need to force it on others. I understand that PETA helps save animals and junk, but they shouldn’t be forcing vegetarianism/being vegan on people. It’s good to suggest it, support it, and inform about it. Not necessarily say, “Meat is bad, don’t eat that. You can get disease and you can possibly die.” I only see four things up there, E. Coli, Swine Flu, MRSA, and Mad Cow Disease. I don’t like life choices of others being forced on others. This is my opinion. If you’re offended or angry towards me, I apologize for having an opinion.

Payper Madelynn at 10:44am on Thu, Nov 14th.


  1. 10 megrázó egészségügyi reklám | tízdolog on Thu, Nov 7th

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