The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is California's First 5 Commission. It gets today's award for their television ad campaign against childhood obesity. The $11.4 million ad campaign claimed 1 in 3 children have diabeties. The actual figure is less than one percent. Some also claim the advertisements were mostly scare tactics. Under pressure, the Commision is revamping its commericals.
Diabeties is a serious health issue and people need to be educated, but educated correctly. The First 5 Commission has failed badly in this case. People will remember them for their blunders even if the message they want to get across is worthy. All this done with public money.
For mis-informing the citizens and wasting taxpayer money, California's First 5 Commission is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
Hat tip- Joanne Jacobs
Cross posted to- Bullwinkle's Blog
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California's First 5 Commission is revamping an $11.4 million television ad campaign against childhood obesity after its first set of TV spots infuriated parents of kids with diabetes.
The ads depict children yammering for grease and sugar, and asking their father to "buy me some diabetes." They warn that bad eating habits can cause diabetes that will cut their young lives short by 26 years.
Parents said the ads are insensitive and do not distinguish between the type of diabetes that can strike a child as a toddler -- and may have nothing to do with diet or obesity -- and the more common form of diabetes, which typically afflicts overweight adults.
The taxpayer-funded California First 5 Commission is already in political hot water over a $23 million advertising campaign from November to January that promoted the benefits of preschool while its chairman, Rob Reiner, was gathering signatures for June's ballot measure to provide free preschool for every 4-year-old.
First 5 spokeswoman Elisa Bupara said that, in response to the parents' concerns, the initial obesity ads are being pulled and replaced with new versions, at a cost of $15,000 to $20,000.
The revisions, she said, will distinguish between Type 1 diabetes -- the kind that typically strikes children and requires lifelong use of insulin -- and Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes and is more clearly associated with obesity.
"We got quite a few calls,'' she said. "And we have assured them we will revise the ads as soon as we could.'' The old ones have been pulled, and the first revised spots will begin running today.
The California Children and Families Commission, also known as First 5, was created by the 1998 passage of Proposition 10, which assessed a 50-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund early childhood development programs.
Bupara said the original ads were "factually accurate," drawn from federal research. The new ads contain some "simple modifications" that have been vetted with the national Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in New York.
In one original ad, a grainy home movie shows kids eating junk food, and when the film suddenly stops, a headline appears saying "1 in 3 children will develop diabetes. Don't let it happen to yours.''
In the revised clip, the words say "Too many kids will develop Type 2 diabetes. ... Don't let it happen to yours."
Federal health statistics for 2005 count 177,000 cases of diabetes of any type among Americans under the age of 20 -- less than 1 percent of that age group. Diabetes rates rise with age. By the age of 60, an estimated 21 percent of the population is diagnosed with the disease -- overwhelmingly Type 2 cases.