Wellness ad forgets bike safety
“How well does your wellness stack up?” says the two page advertisement in last week’s Newsweek magazine.
We asked: “How well does your ad vetting stack up?”
The ad was sponsored by Amway Global and the YMCA and promotes healthy lifestyles.
In conjunction with the ad campaign a hundred YMCA’s across America will feature wellness events for the whole family this weekend.
Good concept. Poor execution.The photo accompanying the ad features a young family out for a
bicycle ride. We noticed one problem: The family isn’t wearing bicycle helmets.
“It is ironic that an organization with the URL inspirewellness.com inspires riding without a helmet. That can make you really unwell,” said Randy Swart, head of the Virginia-based Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.
BHSI compiles research on bicycle helmets and bike safety. It says there are roughly 750 bicycle deaths in the U.S. each year. Seventy-five percent of those bicycle deaths involve people who aren’t wearing helmets. Swart said medical research shows bike helmets can prevent 85 percent of cyclists’ head injuries.
“We have received a couple of call about that,” said Mamie Moore, YMCA USA spokeswoman. “The most that we can do is offer our sincere apology because it was a major oversight on our part.”
Moore said the YMCA worked with Amway Global to develop the Newsweek ad. “It’s just something that we overlooked.”Robin Luymes, Amway Global’s manager of advertising, PR and sponsorships agreed that the ad should have shown a “safe” family of cyclists. “We apologize for this and promise to
provide closer scrutiny of this in any ads featuring cyclists going forward,” said Luymes.
What Swart doesn’t understand is how the magazine ad passed through the vetting process of the YMCA, Amway Global and Newsweek.
We e-mailed Newsweek CEO Thomas Aschiem, Publisher Patrick Hagerty and Sales Operations Director John Ernst to explain why their staff didn’t catch the error. We received no reply.
“It is hard to understand how high-salaried people involved in producing that very expensive ad failed to understand that the lack of helmets would be a concern,” said Swart.
Will another ad run in Newsweek correcting the error?
At this point, we don’t know.