We read a column in yesterday's Daily Caller which highlights an ad campaign running in New York City that portrays the consumption of beverages in the most over-the-top, outrageous manner. If you're a New Yorker, you've undoubtedly seen these ridiculous ads in the subway or on TV. They in no way reflect how people consume beverages. It is false and misleading advertising to suggest that these products – which account for just 7 percent of the calories in the average American's diet – are driving people to obesity and diabetes.
This is an unfortunate and grotesque misuse of taxpayer dollars that were intended to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Hiring PR firms is hardly stimulating job growth, and unjustly attacking one industry hardly qualifies as a ‘shovel-ready project.’ How are these ads creating jobs in New York City or elsewhere? If anything, this money is going to activities that will stymie job creation and cost people good-paying jobs.
These grants could be used to create jobs and improve public health. In fact, these federal funds could have gone to local communities to maintain the operation of public parks, bike trails and after-school programs. Efforts such as these would not only achieve an admirable public health goal, but also accomplish the original intent of the stimulus package, to add jobs to a lagging economy.
In the end, it’s a remarkable statement of misplaced priorities. At time when budget deficits are at all-time highs - and families are still struggling in the economy - we have federal and city agencies wasting taxpayer money on advertising … and false advertising at that.