TOLEDO—Florida-based public relations and social marketing firm The Nixon Group and Cincinnati integrated marketing firm Northlich are among the agencies involved in Ohio’s first-ever anti-tobacco marketing campaign—a four-year, $50 million effort themed “stand.”
The campaign encourages Ohioans to take a “stand against tobacco” and was developed for the Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation by Northlich. It includes broadcast and print advertising, public relations, interactive, and community-based activities to reach and empower the diverse population of Ohio, with special attention to the youth market.
“This is the first time Ohio has committed resources of this magnitude to address a single health issue,” says attorney general Betty Montgomery. “This campaign empowers Ohioans to take a stand against tobacco products, which cause the most preventable of deadly diseases. Tobacco companies spend more than $300 million a year in Ohio marketing their deadly products. We must change Ohio’s culture which currently embraces tobacco use.”
Grassroots activities include a teen advisory panel, which will help design the campaign and its activities and be directly involved in its implementation, and a stand Up, Speak Out tour, which will travel across the state and engage youths in their most compelling, shared medium—music.
“The campaign enables youths to act against tobacco in a manner that is empowering, not punitive or scary,” said Rebeca Arbona, vice president at Northlich. Arbona said research showed that while teens understand that tobacco is dangerous, they don’t translate health issues into personal action. “They see parents and friends smoking and not suffering immediate health consequences. Young people just don’t project their lives far enough into the future to see the danger that lies ahead. They think they’re invincible.”
Also involved in the campaign are Miller Public Relations, a Columbus-based firm specializing in culturally appropriate public and community relations campaigns, and Just Kids, a Connecticut-based full-service youth communications agency.