Coming up this Friday: Social marketing seminar

Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network (NordAN) is organizing this Friday a special seminar focusing on social marketing and searching for best practice examples from Finland, Sweden and Norway.

“Evidence shows that information based campaigns and activities does´nt show much potential in changing the way people are behaving but it has a role in a comprehensive alcohol strategy,” said Lauri Beekmann, general secretary of NordAN. “These incorrect expectations are often reasons why social marketing is neglected and not used enough by public health oriented organisations. At the same time it is clear that for any society to introduce effective public health policies, it needs public support which is dependent on awareness that people have. And this is where social marketing has an important role to play.”

International seminar, hosted by EHYT ry, have speakers from Norwegian Health Ministry, Swedish NGO IQ, from Cancer Society of Finland and from Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare. Professor Triin Vihalemm from Tartu University (Estonia) is going to speak about communication campaigns between policies and practices.

Besides being frontrunners in enforcing effective alcohol policies, Nordic countries have a unique experience with social marketing. Campaigns like “How smooth is that?” (Sweden), “Snart Mamma” (Norway) and “Monsters” or “Ash Babies” (Finland) have reached international interest and attention.

As a network of 90 organisations from all Nordic and Baltic countries, NordAN is exploring ways how different countries and organisations could improve cooperation and sharing existing materials. “One of the fundamental problems in our mind is the fact that when global and rich alcohol industries are doing advertising campaigns that are used all over the world, public health institutions are all doing their own national campaigns with very limited funds without sharing much anything. Could we change that and improve our cooperation, this is what we want to discuss,” Beekmann explained.

Seminar starts at 11.00 on March 14 at the EHYT offices (Elimäenkatu 25-27, Helsinki FINLAND).