Simpsons give out mixed message for health campaign

The Department of Health’s sponsorship of Channel 4’s broadcast of The Simpsons, as part of its latest anti-obesity push, has met with mixed reactions from respondents in the latest Marketingweek.co.uk poll.

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The US cartoon known for its overweight, doughnut-loving Homer Simpson character, has been chosen by the DoH to form part of the £75m Change4Life initiative aimed at encouraging UK residents to eat more healthily.

But when Marketing Week readers were asked if The Simpsons was a good sponsorship vehicle to deliver the Change4Life message, 47.9% of respondents answered “no”, 45.5% said “yes”, while 6.5% were undecided.

The £640,000 sponsorship deal sees the animated Change4Life characters aping Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie by sitting on the Simpsons sofa at the beginning of each episode.

They are initially shown eating junk food, but this is then replaced by fruit and vegetables.

Public Health Minister Gillian Merron has argued the Simpsons provides an “engaging way to get the message to real-life families”.

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