Outdoor industry launches first $3M pro bono health campaign with the Australian Government Department of Health

Starting this weekend, Out of Home (OOH) signs across Australia will feature a healthy food campaign donated by the members of the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) and in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health.

In February 2020, the Outdoor Media Association launched its National Health and Wellbeing Policy, which takes an active role in limiting the public’s exposure to discretionary food and drinks. The industry concurrently placed a strong emphasis on education pledging up to $3 million[1] each year to a health promotion campaign. This inaugural campaign in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health follows through on the industry’s commitment.

The campaign encourages people to “add an extra handful of veggies” to their meals or snacks, and promotes the different types and amounts of foods that are required to live a healthy lifestyle based on the recommendations in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

The OMA’s National Health and Wellbeing Policy came into effect on 1 July 2020 and restricts the advertising of discretionary food and drink products on OOH signs within a 150 metre sightline of a school. The Policy aims to meet community expectations and support government efforts to tackle overweight and obesity in Australia.

With more than a decade’s experience in implementing and monitoring targeted geographical ‘place-based’ policies, the Outdoor advertising industry has previously met and exceeded community expectations around the advertising of alcohol, gambling and adult products, ensuring these products are not seen within a 150 metre sightline of schools. 

OMA Acting CEO, Kylie Green, said: “The Outdoor advertising industry is proud of our leadership on this issue and we are happy to be working with the Australian Government Department of Health on this initiative. This campaign is bold, bright and very straightforward in its messaging. It reminds us that something as simple as adding an extra handful of veggies to our meals or snacks can result in great health benefits.

“We aim to place this campaign strategically in and around community hubs and schools, and on various digital signs nationwide. It also coincides with children going back to school, as well as many of our new year’s resolutions, to start the year off with a health kick. This message is intended to tap into and reinforce that sentiment.

“Research from our recent campaign with DrinkWise, reminding parents that ‘Children can inherit more than your looks’, tells us that 25 per cent of people who saw the campaign said they were likely to drink more moderately. This result, coupled with other campaign results, proves that a simple bold message on our signs cuts through and encourages people to change their habits,” said Green.

Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, said: “I am delighted the Outdoor Media Association is partnering with the Department of Health on this important initiative to encourage more Australians to live a healthier lifestyle by eating more vegetables.

“Only one in 20 adult Australians and one in 17 children eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables – and so we need to encourage Australians to consider changing their diets to consume more fruit and veggies.

“Eating vegetables provides essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, and helps to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and weight gain. Vegetables also make great snacks for adults and children.

“It is expected this initiative involving donated advertising space will reach up to 12 million Australians. I congratulate members of the Outdoor Media Association for utilising their signs to make a positive difference to the health of Australians – including children returning to school – across the country,” Minister Hunt said.

Green added: “We are seeing Outdoor advertising used more and more for positive, community-based messages, and over the last 10 years we have donated advertising space to the likes of DrinkWise, National Missing Persons Week, the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, and The Big Issue to name a few. In 2019, OMA members donated $87 million in advertising space to more than 230 not for profit organisations and community groups.”

Participating OMA members include: BIG Outdoor, Bishopp Outdoor Advertising, goa, JCDecaux, oOh!media, Outdoor Systems, Paradise Outdoor Advertising, QMS Media, and Think Outdoor.

The ‘Add an extra handful of veggies’ campaign will be in market for four weeks, from Sunday 24 January to Saturday 20 February 2021.

For more information visit: www.healthyoutdoor.org



Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
0408 774 577

[1] then-current market rates