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Public distrusts government health campaigns, experts say

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 07 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:70
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. London

    The era of big health information campaigns is over because the public no longer trusts messages sent out by the government, advertising experts told public health workers this week.

    At a conference to discuss how eating habits differ in the United Kingdom between rich and poor people and the resulting inequalities in health, delegates were told that to educate people about nutrition they must adopt the same marketing practices as commercial giants such as Philip Morris or Coca Cola.

    Jeff French, project director of the national social marketing strategy for health at the National Consumer Council, said people didn't want to be preached to.

    He said, “Government led, top-down information aimed at a generalist audience …

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