Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cause related marketing/charity gone awry

I learn a lot from cab drivers. I always ask them what they think about the city I'm in, its politics, population, big issues, best aspects, biggest hassles. I also ask them about my clients in that city to see if they have ever heard of the organizations with which I work.

Today, in a cab in Ohio, I learned that that state has two ballot propositions upcoming in November, both of which focus on smoking bans. I live in California - we perfected this approach to public health. But the twist on the story that Phil the cabbie told me was this: Two years ago Toledo banned smoking in public places. Bars in Toledo responded by claiming they were private businesses. Many of them even sold memberships for a dollar for a lifetime pass - making them private membership clubs. In which their members could smoke. Where does cause-related marketing come in? Well, they donated all of the membership fees to the American Cancer Society. (Or so Phil tells me). How's that for dirty money?

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