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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Muzzle the public and your anti smoking message gets heard

Why not muzzle the public? - they're a bloody nuisance - they spoil the effect of the Anti-Smoking message! Frank Davis came to the same conclusion here

Of course you need SCIENTIFIC proof and HERE IT IS! 

Online comments can undermine anti-smoking PSAs

Commentary accompanying anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) in online forums like YouTube has an impact on the PSA's overall effectiveness. Both negative and positive comments accompanying PSAs degrade the persuasiveness of the videos.

"One thing is very clear: It is no longer possible to consider the influence of news or other messages in the public information environment apart from the comments which follow them," write Rui Shi, a doctoral candidate at Annenberg, and Profs. Paul Messaris and Joseph N. Cappella. Their research is covered in their article "Effects of Online Comments on Smokers' Perception of Antismoking Public Service Announcements," appearing in the Journal of Computer Mediated-Communication, a publication of the International Communication Association.

"The most surprising finding from the study is that positive comments failed to improve PSA evaluation over the no-comment exposure to ads," the team writes. They theorize that the pure existence of comments reduces the effects of the PSA in part because comments distracted the audience from the PSA's message. Those who watched the PSAs without any commentary had better recall of the PSA's content than those who read comments. "The detrimental effect of comments […] seems to suggest anti-smoking PSAs would be better off without comments, especially if the PSAs are strong or if the target audience is somewhat ready to quit smoking," they write. The power of audience participation via social media is clearly a double-edge sword. They note that a concerted effort to understand the influence of online commentary and social media is necessary to understand the way emerging media affect the public for good and for ill.

The public must not get distracted from the message -  I think the public are just plain bored of it all. What can an anti smoking PSA tell us that we don't already know?

As soon as the media is controlled by banning discussion/promoting vaping as the EU Parliament will surely pass into law in March, we will probably have to watch tedious anti-vaping propaganda.

I bet the comments on those will be fantastically entertaining!

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