16.02.2015 At first hand

Editorial Adrian Kammer. Advertising is everywhere – even in the health sector. A study published in autumn 2014 stated that "Advertising for tobacco is commonplace in Switzerland today." This is particularly worrying because it means that young people are being exposed to the advertising message without the public noticing it. The loser: health. This is why health promotion also has to come to the fore in the battle to influence individual behaviour and norms in society. This is the task performed by the communication campaigns run by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). They ensure that prevention is seen as an attractive option in the marketplace of interests.

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The objective is clear: Every individual who lives or works in Switzerland should be empowered to take everyday decisions that have a positive impact on his or her health. The FOPH’s communication campaigns play a role by providing targeted information, increasing awareness and drawing attention to services that can help people reach this goal.

These campaigns are always part of a national programme and an overall strategy, or they fulfil a legal mandate. The FOPH is increasingly working with partners on the development and implementation of campaigns as a way of increasing their efficacy (a good example is the new tobacco prevention campaign, see article on page 4). Campaigns are developed on the basis of standardised quality management processes and current scientific findings. They create a channel for direct, targeted communication with the population. They receive international recognition and are viewed all over the world as a shining example. This good reputation is based on their comparatively high success rate and also on the innovative ideas they contain. TV spots are frequently adopted by the authorities in other countries.

FOPH campaigns are eye-catching. And it is precisely for this reason that they are not swallowed up by the deluge of marketing impressions. They make the prevention programmes of the FOPH visible and anchor them in the public awareness. This enables them to have their intended effect – for the benefit of health.

Adrian Kammer
Head of Campaigns Section
Federal Office of Public Health

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