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    Should Environment PSA’s be Obligatory?

    By Keith R | March 22, 2007

    Topics: Advertising/Promotion, Environmental Education, Environmental Protection | No Comments »

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    How many Americans out there remember the “crying Indian” anti-litter public service announcement (PSA) released in the US television market in 1971 and shown for several years? Did it have an impact on you? Did you start thinking before littering, or get more aggressive in stopping others from littering? certainly remember it well. The image was burned into my consciousness, as I suspect it was for many Americans. Many people credit it as a major influence in reducing the rampant littering in the US I remember during my childhood.

    Go ahead, click on that button and view it again. You know you want to.

    Perhaps those raised or living in other nations have environment-related PSAs that had a similar effect on them. If so, please share rememberances about them in the comments, and a link to the video online if available, particularly if it is from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) or is in Spanish or Portuguese.

    What if such PSAs were made mandatory? In other words, radio and television (TV) broadcasters were required by law to provide, for free, air time for brief PSAs intended to educate, sensitize or mobilize the public on an environmental issue?

    That is exactly what a bill just proposed in the Brazilian National Congress would do. Federal Deputy Henrique Fontana [Workers Party (PT) – Rio Grande do Sul (RS)] just offerred a bill that would require broadcasters to provide, gratis, one minute of airtime every two hours of programming to environmental messages. The content of the messages would be vetted and approved by the National Environment Council (CONAMA), the national consultative and standards body that has representatives of all segments of Brazilian society — federal, state and local government, NGOs, industry and independent experts.

    Upon introducing the bill, Fontana said that compelling the participation of mass media “is indispensible for rescuing our socio-environmental values, necessary for a new understanding of the preservation and recovery of the environment” (“é indispensável para resgatar os valores socioambientais, necessários para uma nova compreensão de preservação e de recuperação do meio ambiente”).

    What do you think?

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