Department of Community Health Anti-Smoking Commercial Takes Prize at National Radio Mercury Awards: NY Health Department Also Using the Michigan Ad

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

June 9, 2005

Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski today announced the department was proud to receive the 2005 Radio Mercury-Award for Public Service Announcements.

The Radio-Mercury Awards recognize and reward the creators of Radio’s best commercials. The award-winning spot titled, “It’s Like They’re Smoking”, vividly depicts the reality of secondhand smoke effects on children.

“We are so pleased to have been recognized by this prestigious group for our efforts to encourage people to stop smoking,” Olszewski said. “The effects of secondhand smoke on children are well documented by leading health and scientific experts. Our challenge was to take these hard facts and present them in a way that would encourage and motivate smokers to stop smoking.”

“It’s Like They’re Smoking” uses children to deliver the important message that secondhand smoke has serious and damaging effects on children. Brogan and Partners Convergence Marketing in Detroit created the spot. Also competing in this category were the Hill Holliday agency in New York for their spot "CPR Saves Lives" for the American Red Cross, the McCann-Erickson agency in New York for their spot "Preacher" for the AdCouncil/Healthy America, the Oink Ink Radio agency in New York for their spot "30 seconds" for the Partnership for a Drug Free America and the republik agency in Durham, NC, for their spot "Caller" for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. T

he New York State Health Department was so impressed with the quality and effectiveness of the Michigan Department of Community Health commercial they have also begun airing both the radio and television versions of the ad.

An important component to the success and development of the commercial was research conducted with smokers who have children in their homes. Respondents were read different facts regarding the effect that secondhand smoke in the household has on children. They were then asked whether knowing the statistic made them more likely to quit smoking or did not make any difference. By far, the most influential fact was: “Smoking around children can hurt lung growth and permanently damage their lung functions.”

The Radio-Mercury Awards were established in 1992 to encourage and reward the development of effective and creative Radio commercials. The Radio Creative Fund (RCF), a non-profit corporation funded by the Radio industry, governs the Radio-Mercury Awards.

The script for the “It’s Like They’re Smoking” radio commercial is:

Brogan & Partners

Convergence Marketing

Detroit - Raleigh/Durham - Chicago - Ann Arbor - Silicon Valley

Radio Copy

Client: MDCH

Product: Secondhand smoke

Title: “It’s Like They’re Smoking” Length: :60


KID #1: I smoke right when I get up in the morning.

KID #2: I usually smoke while I’m watching cartoons.

KID #3: We smoke in the car on the way to school.

KID #4: Yeah, on the way to school.

KID #2: I smoke at the dinner table.

KID #5: I smoke when I’m coloring.

KID #2: Sometimes I smoke during my nap.

KID #4: I smoke when I’m taking a bubble bath.

VO: When you smoke around your kids,

KID #1: Seems I’ve been smoking all my life.

VO: it’s like they’re smoking.

KID #2: I’m down to a pack a day.



VO: If you smoke, the kids around you smoke secondhand, which can mean health problems, like asthma and others that could be with them for life. And if you smoke around children from birth, by age 5, they'll have inhaled over 100 packs. To learn how to quit and keep smoke away from your children, call the free Michigan tobacco quitline at 1-800-480-7848. That’s 1-800-480-7848.

KID #2: I’ve tried to quit a few times, I need to try again.

VO:Secondhand smoke it’s nothing to kid about. A message from the Michigan Department of Community Health.