SK report criticises ‘finger-wagging’ health campaigns

Future public health campaigns should draw on the branding expertise of the marketing world, according to healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The claim follows a cycling event organised by the company earlier this year called Go-Ride-In. The event was held at Manchester’s Sportcity complex and was attended by more than 2,000 people.

Go-Ride-In offered a range of activities, including BMX displays, bike-handling workshops and talent tests. It was designed to test the theory that if exercise is made to be desirable and aspirational, it increases people’s willingness to partake in such activities.

The cycling event followed research commissioned by GSK that recommended the finger-wagging public health campaigns of the past be ditched in favour of modern, marketing-driven ones. The “Let’s Get Physical” report called for more powerful cues from the worlds of fashion and music to deliver emotional associations with exercise.

A GSK spokeswoman says: “Some of the skills that the food and drink industry employs to shift products can be used to shift families from the couch.”

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