Sunday, 4 September 2011

We're all against evil tobacco!

From Chris Snowdon, this link to a campaign against tobacco companies directed against MPs. The campaign is run by 38 Degrees, which campaigns on issues with the aim of creating a critical level of public interest. Currently they are trying to save the NHS from the Coalition's reforms. In the past they have campaigned against Murdoch expanding his media empire. I probably signed that one – but this one is a different matter.
It takes just two minutes to write to your MP and tell them why you think the Government should force tobacco companies to publish annually how much they spend on marketing that could be viewed by young people. Put in your postcode and click “Participate” to get started. it’ll only take 2 minutes.
Just two minutes of your time. Enough to read and really understand that there are two sides to every coin? What the introduction tells us is a request for action to get tobacco companies to declare their expenditure on marketing that kids might be exposed to (what kind of action might that be?) also includes (drafted in the template) a demand that our MPs support legislation on plain packaging of tobacco. If you're quick enough and just tick and click without really reading the missive, you'll be requesting legislation that has alarmed observers everywhere, without even being aware that you've done it. You won't notice what you have signed, never mind taken on board the idea that it might be worth a second look.

So much for internet campaigning. A template gets quick results but this is too glib for my liking. But there are compensations: here is Chris's special response template.

As if that weren't sufficiently offputting, 38 Degrees says it works in partnership with Smoke & Mirrors, featuring Duncan Bannatyne – a site that tries to make fighting tobacco look chic to youngsters (see, we can all play at that game).

I've also come across this piece of yuk and its accompanying blog.


Ed said...

There is also a Poll on the Smoke& Mirrors site.

Belinda said...

There's a different poll every time you refresh the screen.