R. Craig Lefebvre's Social Marketing Blog
News and commentary on social marketing, health communications and social/political change enterprises.



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  Thursday, January 19, 2006

Social Marketing in the News


Oil Company Boosts Anti-malaria Campaign in Cameroon


Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO) has decided to give a subsidy of 175 million FCFA to help lower the cost of insecticide-treated mosquito nets… COTCO proposed the project for the promotion and distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and its kit all over Cameroon, which [is] funded by the Exxon Mobil Foundation. The Cameroonian Social Marketing Association (ACMS) is the project`s executing agency.   …Cameroon`s ACMS, which was created in 1989, is engaged in the prevention of malaria and HIV/AIDS, family planning and in fighting diarrhoeic and water-borne diseases.



UNESCO-funded ‘Shahi Qila Week’ Begins on January 22


A five-day ‘Shahi Qila Week’ funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is scheduled at Lahore Fort [Pakistan] from January 22 to January 26, Punjab Archaeology Department (PAD) sources told Daily Times on Monday.

The cultural mega-event aims to impart awareness about the World Heritage site and is the first of its kind organised by the PAD.


The details of the event were worked out in a meeting held at PAD’s office on Monday, in which Cultural Officer Farhat Gul represented UNESCO...The meeting discussed various aspects of social marketing and promotion of archaeological sites and was informed that PAD Director General Oriya Jan Maqbool took the initiative.



Town Unveils Conservation Resource Library


The Town of Cochrane [Alberta, Canada] unveiled the first Conservation Resource Library Tuesday, located in a section of the Nan Boothby Memorial Library.

“The primary purpose of creating and maintaining the Conservation Resource Library is to provide Cochrane residents with greater access to resources about how to be better stewards of our environment,” said Lisa Fox, Water Conservation Coordinator for the Town.


The library is part of the community-based social marketing strategy the Conservation Team is focusing on.

“It includes face to face marketing, which was the door-knocking, broad-base marketing, which we do through the newspapers and releases, and hands-on, the library,” Fox said.



More News and Commentary is posted at On Social Marketing and Social Change.


Recent notes include: Social Marketing and the Policy Maker Audience; The Red Herring of Self Esteem?; and Fast Company's 2006 Social Capitalist Award Winners



9:38:52 PM    

  Thursday, January 12, 2006

Social Marketing in the News


DPH Overrides STD Funding Cuts


Coming back to work after the long holiday weekend, several local [San Francisco, CA] agencies with contracts from the city's STD control branch received a New Year's surprise: their funding would be unexpectedly reduced. Magnet, the gay men's community health center in the Castro, the AIDS Health Project, and the Public Health Foundation received word on Tuesday, January 3, that Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, director of the STD control branch, was reducing their funding this year due to budget constraints.


Yet only hours after Klausner had confirmed he was cutting a total of $118,000 in funding, health department officials informed the Bay Area Reporter that in fact none of the programs would receive cuts.


One agency, the Internet Sexuality Information Services, learned it would be flat funded, at $49,000, and another agency, Better World Advertising, learned its funding doubled this year to $85,000. Klausner said the increase is to fund a new STD social marketing campaign.



Conservation Agency Promises to Break New Ground


New Brunswick appears to have a monopoly on good ideas by taking real action on energy costs. The newly minted Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency of New Brunswick is unique, a first for Canada, with a mandate to influence efficient energy use, help control energy expenses and lessen the impact of energy use on the environment.


Part of the agency's communication challenge, therefore, is to ensure the many benefits of energy conservation actions are identified and well understood.

"Our task is to make those benefits apparent to the province's residents and industry, and to capture public attention to create a common understanding that we can make and must make better choices about how we use energy," said  [CEO Elizabeth] Weir in a recent speech to the Energy Council of Canada.


She realizes that getting the conservation messages out will be a challenge. Changing consumer behaviour through social marketing efforts is an even steeper hill to climb. She stresses that a sustained effort in a small jurisdiction can prove effective.

Weir notes that 'we have been able to change individual behaviour in profound ways, such as curbing tobacco use, and making seatbelt use an automatic part of driving.' But these behaviours, now embedded in our lifestyles, did not happen overnight. The Agency must have staying power and the ability to deliver messages that resonate.



Crystal Task Force Set to Vote on Plan


A city panel charged with addressing San Francisco's crystal methamphetamine epidemic is expected to include providing treatment on demand and creating a marketing campaign alerting speed users that treatment does work among the recommendations it is set to approve next week.


Also included in the draft proposal are new social marketing campaigns for meth users, expansion of specific services for youth, an update on the current status of the epidemic, and working with law enforcement officials to target dealers of the drug.



Charitable Organisations Seek a Better 2006


A drying up of sponsorship for voluntary organisations has left many wondering how best to reverse this disturbing trend in 2006.


Beverly Stewart, finance mobiliser for the [Jamaican] Council of Voluntary Social Services and the Inter-American Development Project, has identified "social marketing", as the primary approach to solving the problem. Voluntary organisations, she said, "have to realise that they are engaged in a business, and they are actually competing for sponsorships." She suggested several strategies that non-profit organisations could employ.


Among other things, she believes that it is important for NGO's convince private businesses that they will exhibit fiduciary responsibility. "Getting large corporations to invest in voluntary ventures becomes easy when they are affiliated with reputable NGO's that they allow to monitor these investments for them", she advises.


According to Mrs. Stewart, it is also important that corporate sponsors are able to see how they will benefit, whether directly or indirectly, from their donations. She is therefore encouraging NGO's to "Go all-out by writing project proposals for all ventures even if they are small and preparing strategic methods of pleasing specific target markets."

Canada Targets Health Promotion

Canada has set its sights on becoming one of the healthiest countries in the world, following a CAN$300m (£150m, 212m euro, US$260m) investment in health promotion over the next five years.


Through the strategy, the Canadian government is contributing CAN$56m (£28m, 40m euro, US$48m) to a healthy-living strategy. This will include a Healthy Living Fund, which will make investments at national, regional and local levels to support health promotion initiatives.


It will also include a social marketing campaign that aims to motivate Canadians to eat healthy food and to be more physically active. The campaign will focus on the importance of including these actions in daily life and will show how making small steps can lead to significant health improvements.



Vance Grant Supports Hub


In other business [of the Vance County, North Carolina, Commissioners], the results of a focus group on the health of African-Americans was discussed by Jackie Sergent of the Granville-Vance District Health Department.  The study addresses obesity in African-American, American Indian and Hispanic youths, ages 5-11, and their families in Lee, Johnston and Vance counties.


Sergent said it uses social marketing to increase daily physical activity to 60 minutes or more, and decrease television viewing in targeted youths.  She defined social marketing as using commercial marketing strategies to change behavior.


The study aims to implement culturally appropriate interventions tailored to each target audience. [Among the findings from the research that were reported at the meeting]


In the case of communitywide interventions:

  • Neighborhood watch programs, or other programs cooperating with local law enforcement programs, may help provide needed and desired security for children playing outside.
  • Communitywide efforts to control traffic in residential areas are needed.
  • Neighborhoods should be assessed for adequate sidewalks and lighting.

More Social Marketing News and Commentary Can Be Found At On Social Marketing and Social Change.

6:35:09 PM    

  Thursday, January 05, 2006

Social Marketing in the News


Health Body Talks About Concerns


The nation's health concerns were at the top of the National Health Promotion Council's roundtable discussions yesterday.  Health Minister Solomone Naivalu said the council was the highest multi-sectoral civil society body that focused on Fiji's health needs.


"For the first time, teams from various agencies have come together to produce multi-year social marketing and mobilisation plans scheduled for 2006," he said. "These plans focus on key public health issues and are aligned with ongoing national initiatives like road safety, responsible drinking, childhood nutrition, immunisation, water and sanitation, and physical activity."


"Each plan has specific behavioural objectives to achieve clear strategies, feasible management structures, robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms," he said.  "What these plans need now is our collective support."



Online Retailers Should Use Gadgets and Games to Market to Young Consumers


More than two-thirds of young online consumers own gadgets such as PCs, DVD players, home stereos, game consoles, mobile phones, or handheld video games, Forrester found. About one-quarter own MP3 players and browser- or camera-enabled mobile phones.


In addition, consumers between the ages of 12 and 21 spend an average of 11 hours per week surfing the web—compared with 8.5 hours weekly for adults—and 79% visit game sites. More than one-third visit music sites, and almost half visit movie sites, according to Forrester.


The study also found that more than half of young, online consumers rely on their friends and families for purchase advice, and 65% tell others about products they like. In addition, teens have on average 41 buddies on their IM lists. That makes them ideal prospects for social marketing via instant messaging, mobile phones and e-mail, Forrester said.


Online retailers should use young consumers’ love of games to promote products through such tools as advergames and online video, and online promotions should include “tell-a-friend” links for e-mail, Forrester says.



Literacy Workers Strengthen Work in Poor Aspac Countries


Twenty-eight literacy workers from three countries in Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines, met recently in Davao City to strengthen its institutional capabilities to meet the demands of quality education in their areas.


The training and workshop focused on “developing and enhancing the capability of the officers of the LRCs [Literacy Resource Centers] in identifying, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating and sustaining community development projects”, Lim said.


Participants were also given insights on understanding and defining the concept of development communication, social marketing, advocacy and community mobilization and impact on development activities of the LRCs.


“It is also hoped that after the training, participating LRCs will be able to act as more effective resource centers for the organizations and individuals engaged in non-formal education and literacy activities in each country and in Asia-Pacific region,” said Lim.



Youth Affairs Ministry to Launch Drive Against AIDS


Joining hands with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and NGOs working on HIV-AIDS, the [Indian] Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports plans to launch a major awareness drive involving about 25,000 youth clubs across the country to create awareness on AIDS prevention.

"We will involve about 25000 youth clubs in this drive. Apart from sensitising people on AIDS prevention, the drive also aims at creating social marketing of condoms which means selling condoms to people at a subsidised rate helping them take advantage of the device," he says.
The social marketing of condoms relate to moving from house to house and convincing people to use condoms for safety from sexually transmitted disease, protection from HIV/AIDS and gaping pregnancy.





Creating Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs


In a recent forum joined by the business and education sectors, Jose “Joey” A. Concepcion III, the presidential consultant for entrepreneurship, decried how the educational system remains deficient in terms of developing entrepreneurial graduates. Though business management courses remain as popular as ever, entrepreneurship is still an elective subject in many schools, he said.

Nevertheless, Concepcion is elated that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has finally approved, after a four-year wait, a college curriculum for a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship degree program. Calling it a “milestone” in the Philippine educational system, he hails the educators and businessmen who crafted the curriculum, saying it would give rise to more young business owners and a stronger culture of enterprise. He’s also batting for greater involvement of the business sector in mentoring students and encouraging more startup ventures.


A serious advocacy seems necessary to get more young people into entrepreneurial careers. Without sufficient social marketing, says University of Makati president and Asian Institute of Management (AIM) professor Tomas Lopez, entrepreneurship might suffer the same fate as vocational education, which still has to shake off the stigma of being a second-rate course.



Rewriting Road Safety


Road safety messages delivered by young drivers for young drivers combined with rewards for good driving were convincing arguments for the two winners of the RTA Slow Down essay competition.


The winners of the $1000 open section, Stephanie Sergeant, and $300 junior section, Tiffany Bloomfield, both in year 10 at James Sheahan High School, produced ideas the local road safety officer hopes to incorporate into future road safety campaigns.


Orange Cabonne [Australia] road safety officer Andrea Hamilton-Vaughan said both entries touched on education techniques which were gaining support in the road safety community. "Social marketing methods have been used more in the last few years but this has been mostly in the health area, not the road safety area.”


"As road safety officers we want to explore ways that make sense to Tiffany's age group," Ms Hamilton-Vaughan said. "Some of the essays have given us the tools - the incentives to get people's cooperation."


Offering incentives in the form of petrol vouchers and licence discounts to young drivers with good driving records, and using other young drivers in advertising, rather than TV stars, and confronting footage of accidents, were recurring themes in the essays.


While both girls said this sort of campaign had its place, a new approach was needed.


"What's missing is positive reinforcement," Stephanie said.



GSMMP Appoints 50 Divisional Reps


At least 50 Kairo ambassadors were recently appointed by The Gambia Social Marketing Management Programme (GSMMP) in North Bank, Upper River and Central River Divisions.


The divisional representatives are charged with the responsibility of selling Kairo pills, condoms and other contraceptives in their divisions. In addition, they are to diffuse information on health, and to make sure that rural-dwellers are accessible to healthcare.



Naco Will Blow Condoms at Midnight


The [Indian] National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) will spend Rs 250 crore on distribution of condoms this year. It will also launch a new concept, social marketing network, to ensure that condoms are available even at midnight.

The Naco, during a random survey, found that condoms are not available during night time as most of the pharmacies down their shutters by 10 pm. This was observed even in places, which fall under high risk category for Aids, like Suryapet.

Consequently, the Naco is mulling a new strategy of installing condom vending machines at all public places.



Get the Message?


It's clear that the straightforward approach to changing Americans' behavior will no longer work. Simply gathering the evidence, donning the white coat, warning the public and recommending a course of action won't cut it.

The U.S. government is now betting on "social marketing," especially as it tackles obesity — a threat to the public's health that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions and that costs the nation an estimated $117 billion annually in healthcare costs.

The fight to stamp out tobacco smoking in the United States has schooled social marketers in the techniques they will need to get Americans off the couch and away from the chips.

Global Challenges | U.S. Funding Cuts for Condoms, Abstinence Promotion 'Hindering' ABC Prevention Programs, Advocates Say, NPR Reports


Some HIV/AIDS advocates are saying that the Bush administration's emphasis on promoting abstinence and fidelity in HIV/AIDS prevention programs and efforts to "de-emphasize" the use of condoms is "hindering" programs adopting the HIV prevention method known as "ABC" -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- NPR's "All Things Considered" reports…Jodi Jacobson, director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, said that condom procurement, distribution and social marketing have been "shifted and redirected" from the general population to so-called "high-risk populations" and HIV/AIDS prevention programs are sending "inconsistent messages." Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul said the Bush administration supports programs using all three ABC methods, and although financial reports must reflect how much funding went for each component of ABC, "that doesn't mean you don't have a program that covers all of them."


More News and Commentary is now at On Social Marketing and Social Change

5:11:00 PM    

  Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I'll be taking off the rest of the year.  Have a great one!

Look for Social Marketing in the News Friday, January 6, 2006.

8:28:29 PM    

  Friday, December 16, 2005

Social Marketing in the News 



Peers Raise Awareness of FASD


No amount of alcohol is safe to drink while pregnant.

Circle of Friends, a social marketing program, along with the Calgary Health Region (CHR), is campaigning to get this message out to 16 to 24 year olds in the southern Alberta region.  And youths who submit a short video demonstrating how they would support a pregnant friend may get their voice heard across the nation.  "Sometimes a girl gets pregnant, and their friends disown them because they stop partying with them -- that's not supportive," said Shelly Repka, of Circle of Friends.  Repka said they want to see submissions showing friends giving friends support, sticking with them, giving them advice and just being there…The winner's submission will be used to help develop a TV and radio public service announcement, that will come out in early 2006 and be broadcast on national television.



Fresh Survey of AIDS Victims Mooted


The Parliamentary Accounts Committee [India] has suggested a fresh survey of HIV/AIDS infected people in the country to arrive at a correct figure, following allegations of inadequacies in the sentinel surveillance method adopted by the Government… According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), there are 5.1 million HIV-infected people, but the figure has been contested by some international agencies and non-governmental organisations.


The committee has said the National AIDS Control Programme had achieved limited success, because it failed to generate sufficient awareness among the masses… It has found the scheme of social marketing of condoms lacking, since NACO could not procure and distribute the targeted number of condoms. The programme could not set up the targeted number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases clinics and modernise blood banks and voluntary counselling and testing centres in every district.



Crystal Meth Remedies Prove Elusive


"A lot of treatment centers while they do excellent work are cookie cutters," Eastlund said. "(The 12 steps) is there and it's a great, available resource, but we need to think outside of the box. We need to develop programs specifically for gay men, but also for women, who are using the drug to deal with crazed lives. Often single mothers are drawn to meth to get through their busy days."


Eastlund hopes to see the city funnel dollars into programs like these, as well as education and social marketing campaigns that address how large and widespread the problem is, she said.


Mental health services also need to be more available for HIV patients who are dealing with crystal meth, she said.


Nettie DeAugustine, preventive health bureau manager at the Long Beach Health Department, wants to see more treatment specifically designed to treat meth and better resources to place people into programs unique to their problem.



Selling to Kids? Take Note


"Marketing works," the panel concluded — and, as a result, parents' efforts to encourage their children to make healthful food and beverage choices are up against enormous odds.

The panel found convincing evidence that children younger than 4 typically cannot distinguish between an advertisement and entertainment programming. It also concluded that most children younger than 8 do not understand advertising's "persuasive intent."

Among children 12 to 18, the panel found insufficient evidence that food marketing influenced long-term food and drink preferences or short-term consumption. But it did find strong statistical evidence that, among both younger children and teens, those who watched the most TV (and who thus were exposed to the most food advertising) were most likely to be overweight.

The evidence fell short of establishing that TV ads cause excessive weight. But "even a small influence, aggregated over the entire population of American children and youth, would be consequential in impact," the report stated.


Among the committee's recommendations:

•  Government organizations, philanthropies, healthcare groups and food industry and marketing interests should band together to craft a "massive social marketing campaign" that would help boost demand for healthful foods among children. Such a campaign, the panel warned, would likely take years to stabilize and reverse kids' rising rate of excess weight.



Diet: Science Panel Tells Industry to Stop Marketing Junk Food to Kids


The panel said the government should try tax breaks and other incentives to encourage the shift away from junk food and, if that doesn't work, Congress should mandate it.


Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and Families, questioned whether any healthy-food campaign could match the power of junk-food marketing.


"I don't think that even the best social marketing on healthy foods can overcome the advertising and sale of breakfast cereals that taste like cookies," she said.

The panel's chairman, J. Michael McGinnis, said the panel sees an opportunity in the marketing power of industry.


"There is tremendous creativity to be had in the industry, and if we contemplate as a society banning the marketing to kids, we're going to lose that creativity," said McGinnis, a senior scholar at the institute. "We take the industry at their word that they're interested in providing marketing for more healthful products.”



Competing Voices: In a Sea of Medical Information, Where Do You Find Answers?


"Most people want to know functional information: How do I get through the day with this problem?" said Patricia Flatley Brennan. She is the Moehlman Bascom professor of the School of Nursing and Industrial Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and specializes in designing the computer tools people need so they can find information for taking care of themselves.

…especially in the case of an Internet search, you need to make sure the information you have is valid.   A good rule for an Internet search is to pay more attention to dot-gov or dot-edu sites (from government and educational institutions, respectively) because they are less likely to be biased. That is not to say you should ignore the commercial, or .com, sites.

"There are some excellent dot-com sites," Brennan said. "They're companies, but they put out really stellar information, particularly pharmaceutical firms. But they'll put out information about their drugs, so there's subtle social marketing that occurs, but that subtle social marketing occurs on the government sites as well on the dot-edu sites. So I guess," she said with a chuckle, "it depends on whose social marketing you're willing to buy into."



Bank of America and Cause Related Marketing


This commercial in my opinion was brilliant example of Social Marketing. The commercial aligned Bank of America with a organization preserving historical buildings and landmarks. It was obvious how Bank of America was contributing to the organization but less obvious was the benefit B of A was receiving. It was simple brand association that they received leading to the acquisition of new customers and maintaining loyalty of current bank members. The commercial clearly demonstrated Bank of America’s commitment to this particular social issue. This commercial undoubtedly has strong potential to improve the B of A brand image. Improved brand image will translate into increased revenues for B of A. I can’t see this campaign being anything less than a win, win situation for both parties



The Last Word – Bisto: All Together Now: ”Ahhh.”


This December, this column brings you a heart-warming Christmas tale of social marketing for all the family, courtesy of that most British of brands, Bisto.

For those international readers who may not be familiar with the idiosyncrasies of British cuisine, Bisto has been a staple of Britain’s meal tables since 1908, as the nation’s favourite provider of instant gravy, in powdered form.

Bisto’s brand marketing has stuck rigidly to a successful formula over many years, positioning Bisto as “part of the family”. The formula has been refreshed and updated over time, but is essentially the same: cosy family scenes featuring the “Bisto Kids” who are attracted by the distinctive aroma of Bisto, leading them to utter the immortal words (and Bisto’s marketing slogan for many years) “Aah … Bisto”.


The issue is straightforward: the fact that families eat fewer and fewer meals together. This has been identified by social policy experts as playing a key role in a wide range of social problems: teenage drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, teenage pregnancy, crime, anti-social behaviour, truancy and poor academic performance – you name it, it’s got something to do with the decline of the traditional family unit. And at the heart of the traditional family unit is the simple act of eating a meal together.


So Bisto has set itself the modest task of helping to turn the situation around with a new campaign called “aah nights.” The centrepiece of the campaign is a TV commercial, fully in the spirit of Bisto’s long-standing marketing campaigns, which extols the virtues of eating together as a family while explicitly recognising the challenges of doing this in the modern world, with all its pressures.


At www.aahnight.co.uk Bisto shows you how to do it in three simple steps, the first of which is to download a “Contract” that families can sign and stick on their fridge or other prominent place in the house. Step two is to invite the family or friends by email, and step three is to make a delicious meal (recipes provided) using – you guessed it – Bisto. So there’s the marketing bit, for any of you who worry that all this social stuff has nothing to do with selling more product. The website also contains information from a respected psychologist about why the issue matters, and there is a tie-up with a national newspaper.

The reason I have explained the anatomy of this campaign in such detail is because it is so well judged. I would go so far as to say that this is a perfect social marketing campaign – a textbook example of how it should be done. The issue is important to society and to the lives of Bisto’s customers, and it could not be more relevant to the brand and its heritage.





8:37:54 AM    

  Thursday, December 08, 2005

Social Marketing in the News


The Business of Avoiding Babies


After the political fallout of male sterilisation in post-emergency India (1975-77), gentler ways were sought to be devised, but with little success. Population control agendas rode on prettier-sounding concerns of reproductive health, women's empowerment and choice. Striking is the sex bias in offering choice to the "target" to control population through invasive reproductive technologies under the cover of mother and child health…There is disproportionate weight on women's contraception by international agencies and pharmaceuticals. For example, UNFPA, the world's largest supplier of contraceptives to developing nation governments, deals with only 22 per cent of condoms. The rest is made up of pills (27), implants and trochars (2.12), and injectables (the largest at 45 per cent).


How do the controversial products of this lucrative business find themselves in women's bodies? The pharma-donor-government links are becoming a nexus. NGOs distribute the products through vertically delivered, unaccountable and scattered social marketing, which is outside public regulatory gaze.


Now, UNFPA and WHO, largest procurers of contraceptives, find that the "big boys" are too expensive for sourcing hormonal contraceptives and are seeking to expand their supply base with Indian generic drug manufacturers. India can do with strengthening its pharma market, and hereby is introduced another stakeholder in the big game of curbing births. Population stabilisation can be achieved through the contraceptive of rights and development. It does not need more hormonal contraceptives for women that are long-acting, invasive, untested, hazardous and provider-controlled all in the name of offering a "choice" that results in anything but women's well-being. Women's health is much more than reproductive health, and cannot be subordinated to the population control enterprise. 



Nasoma Echoes HIV Preventive Message


The National Social Marketing Association (NASOMA) joins today's global events marking World AIDS Day with its oft-repeated preventive message that appeals for abstinence, faithfulness and consistent use of condoms to avoid infection.


Under the theme "Stop Aids! Keep the Promise!" NASOMA advises young people that condoms are not only effective in preventing HIV infection, but that it is a simple and effective tool to prevent unwanted pregnancies, ultimately reducing child mortality and other sexually transmitted diseases.


The biggest component of the NASOMA programme is geared towards behaviour change and awareness. "Through information awareness, we are trying to change people's behaviour when it comes to HIV/AIDS," he [Country Director of NASOMA, Hosky //Gowaseb] concluded.



Scientific Panel Tells Industry to Stop Marketing Junk Food to Kids


Food marketing strongly influences what children eat, the Institute of Medicine said in a comprehensive review of scientific evidence on the issue.

Some children's advocacy groups said the recommendations don't go far enough and called for a ban on junk food marketing to children.

"If marketing to children affects their food choices, then it's time to stop marketing to them," said Susan Linn, a psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School who helped found the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and Families, questioned whether any healthful-food campaign could match the power of junk-food marketing.

"I don't think that even the best social marketing on healthy foods can overcome the advertising and sale of breakfast cereals that taste like cookies," she said.



AHF to Roll Out Frank, Unconventional 'HIV - Not Fabulous' Social Marketing & HIV Prevention Campaign in Los Angeles


AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation's largest AIDS organization, will…unveil "HIV -- Not Fabulous," a frank new social marketing campaign on HIV prevention that urges HIV negative gay men throughout Los Angeles to "Stay Negative."


The CDC-funded, three-year advertising campaign uses real people living with HIV/AIDS, and through simple and powerful photographs, highlights certain physical ailments -- diarrhea, wasting syndrome, lipodystrophy [irregular body fat distribution] -- that have become a day-to-day reality for many of those living with the disease.


Broad Changes in Product Lines, Marketing

The Institute of Medicine report concludes what most parents already know: Kids who watch a lot of TV ads eat more junk food. Food and beverage marketing to children is "at best, a missed opportunity, and at worst, a direct threat to the health of the next generation," the report warns.

Some businesses report mixed experiences with promoting healthier food. Demand shot up for lower-fat milk and mandarin oranges after Wendy's restaurants added them as options for kids' meals and promoted them heavily, said spokesman Bob Bertini. Orders have dropped off as advertising campaigns have changed, he said, but they're still popular. But the fast-food chain recently dropped a fruit bowl introduced earlier this year because it wasn't selling. He's doubtful about focusing ad campaigns only on nutritious foods.


"If there's a market for those choices, certainly we will emphasize them, as we did with fruit," Bertini says. "We continue to promote a wide cross-section of our menu because we're a mass marketer. We have a large, diverse audience with very different needs."


Other recommendations include government, school and private sector initiatives such as offering incentives for promoting nutritious choices, devising a social marketing program to sell parents on healthy diets, and setting standards for all foods sold in schools, not just federally funded lunches.


Good Intentions Are Not Enough: Too Few Health Programs Reach Poor; Better Results Possible - World Bank Report


A new World Bank report today warns both developing countries and the international development community to check for gaps between intentions and verifiable results in helping poor people battle illness and disease. Health programs designed to reach poor people often end up instead helping the better-off, the study says. However, it adds that this situation can be avoided, and based on a number of successful national case studies, offers governments key policy steps to make sure that disadvantaged groups get the crucial health care services they urgently need.


Among the examples identified by the Reaching the Poor study authors are: Marketing of insecticide-treated bed nets in Tanzania. In two southern districts, with a total population of about 60,000, the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre developed and implemented a social marketing program that raised the ownership of bed nets in the poorest 20% of households from 20 to 73%. As in Ghana and Zambia, the increase in bed net use/ownership was higher among the poor than among the better-off.


As a result, the report avoids identifying 'magic wand' approaches that can guarantee success wherever applied. Instead, it advocates a process of adaptation, recommending that country policy makers seek to fit to their own settings those strategies proven successful elsewhere that seem most relevant to their own situation. Critical in this process, note the authors, will be a solid understanding of why the poor were not getting services. Moving past thinking that governments, donors, and development agencies always know the answers, and working hard to understand the ingredients of inequalities are the obvious next steps to creating policies that fit the needs of the poor. 

6:07:25 PM    

  Saturday, December 03, 2005

Segmentation: The First Critical Decision


More time is given to debates over whether and how to segment an audience than to any other decision made in a social marketing program.  And for good reason.  The process of segmentation distills the aspirations and predilections of stakeholders and designers into an essence that will (or a least should) permeate every aspect of the program.


In some of the recent work I have been doing, we have been looking at the question of audience segmentation from the perspective of addressing three basic questions: Who are the people at highest risk?  Who are the people most open to change?  and Who are the people/groups critical to the success of the program?  [Read full article]


9:37:44 AM    

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