Celebrating 100 years of Public Health campaigns

Blog post by Public Health England

Thursday 23 November 2017

2017 marks 100 years of government communications, on 22 November, Public Health England held an exhibition to celebrate the public health campaigns from the past 100 years.

The specially curated exhibition, which also marks a century since the Department of Information was created by the Government to communicate to people during the First World War, was launched by Chief Executive Duncan Selbie at an event for stakeholders and partners in London last night.

Guests from industry sectors ranging from charities to grocery retailers, pharmacy organisations, tech platforms and the media viewed posters, TV adverts, apps and other materials showcasing the work of PHE and partners at Sea Containers.

Speakers included Professor Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and Rory Sutherland, Executive Creative Director of customer engagement agency OgilvyOne.

The exhibition, which is also available online, shows how public health marketing campaigns have changed and evolved, from the first immunisation campaigns to AIDs awareness in the 1980s, through to Stoptober which supports people to stop smoking and the Change4Life Be Food Smart app which enables users to check how much salt, sugar and saturated fat is in their food.

It celebrates and reflects on what can be achieved when the government and private sector work together but also looks to the future.

Launching the exhibition, Duncan Selbie said: “For the first time we have brought together public health marketing campaigns from the last century, showing just how much has changed in the last 100 years.”

“Powerful communications and effective marketing campaigns are instrumental in delivering government policies and helping to encourage behaviour change.

“Public health marketing campaigns help to save lives and as we look to the future we will continue to develop our partnerships to create campaigns that help protect and improve the health of the next generation.”

Copyright: Health Education Authority/Science and Society Picture Library

Copyright: Health Education Authority/Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library

Copyright: Ministry of Food












View GCS online museum to see the work of the past 100 years government communications.

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