They are compelling to a point. They feature "hospitality workers" in print and on the radio telling of the dangers of second-hand smoke. About how they are forced to work in unhealthy conditions because there is no ban on smoking. And, because there is no legislative ban on smoking in public places they are putting their health at risk.
Some folks are complaining that the people who portray the workers are really actors. But more are questioning the fact that public money, to to tune of $600,000, has been spent by the Department of Public Health to produce and run the campaign.
And they may have a point.
Never mind that Iowa is quickly becoming the Nanny State of Record by lawmakers convinced that banning nearly everything humans do will somehow make our lives better. We wrote about this a few weeks ago but since then...it's gotten even more bizarre.
Everything from banning cell phone use to banning teens from sharing a ride in their vehicle with other teens is getting support.
But what troubles State Senator Brad Zaun (R - Urbandale) is that a state agency spent $600,000 of our money to convince Iowans that they should pressure the legislature into a state wide smoking ban. Money that some say could be better spent.
Meanwhile Tom Newton the interim director of the Iowa Department of Public Health defends the campaign by saying the mission of the department is to "...foster a social and legal climate in which tobacco use becomes undesirable and unacceptable".
(Quick sidebar: Last year the legislature passed a law that raised taxes on tobacco products by $1.00 a pack. So, if we ban smoking...gotta find another revenue source. Maybe a cell phone tax? Note to legislature: Please disregard that statement. You don't need my help in coming up with ideas for taking more of my money.)
Frankly we think the state needs to butt out but then again maybe we're just sore that we didn't get the $600,000 client. (However just to "make up" maybe they'll ask us to help them with the new "Cell Phone Tax Bill Campaign"?)
So, what do you make of this?
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we would have used actors too.