When advertising is disguised as road safety and corporate social responsibility

few days Ago I remembered, thanks to Reddit, an advertising action supported by the General Directorate of Traffic. A campaign in which you are encouraged to stop every two hours or 200 kilometres on long-haul routes (up to here great) for a drink. It was then when I remembered that several years ago – according to Traffic, the campaign began is now 11 years exactly – we had already received the respective press release of the DGT notice of the campaign, and even the corresponding notice of the filing of this action. And almost immediately I was reminded, once more, why we never did an echo of this action in motor.

The first reason for which ever we are publishing this action was not another to realize that, behind the façade of an action laudable, and necessary, in pursuit of road safety, of a “summer campaign to help prevent fatigue at the wheel”, is hidden the work of the Association of soft Drinks (account among its associated with the most important brands of soft drinks and sugary drinks in our country) to recommend us a drink at our stops.

Not surprised at all, that the association, and the manufacturers belonging to it, would have been able to spin so eloquently their interests with road safety. What surprised us most, and even disappoint us, it was the support of the Directorate General of Traffic, especially with a topic so delicate, that so many deaths generated in our country, the fatigue, and therefore the blind spots on the road.

publicidad-disfrazada-seguridad-vial-01From his blog, and from his vision as nutritionist John Revenga already alerted to these days of the improper use that was being done to something as important as road safety, hidden under the façade of corporate social responsibility, to perpetuate unhealthy eating habits, which are creating serious health problems in our country. This could well be one more reason to criticize this action, but we will go directly to the second reason that we found when we met this campaign. Do you really are these tips valid to beat the fatigue?

we Insist that you stop every two hours or 200 kilometres, a stretch of the legs and arms, and take to the air, are not only tips recommended, but a habit that we should consider as a must when making a trip, especially in summer. The lack of hydration also contributes, along with other various factors, such as the lack of ventilation in the vehicle, and to a very high temperature on the onset of fatigue.

With which it seems reasonable to travel with a water bottle on board is a habit recommended, to quench the thirst.

The problem to be found in the moment in which you try to spin this need to stay hydrated, with the fact of stopping at a service area to take sugar-sweetened soft drinks, carbonated, and/or energizers, or cola with caffeine. Just have a look at the promotional video of the campaign, the same that we can see on these lines. To what extent do you contribute to these drinks to get hydrated and to reduce fatigue?

caffeine, in moderate amounts, is a stimulant that helps to keep us focused, and decreases sleepiness. But even the DGT, in their awareness raising actions (see advice to “Eat well and lead better,” and a dossier on the fatigue), shows a cautious advising the coffee in very small doses, or even ignored advise to use the coffee, and drinks with caffeine, such as solutions to overcome and prevent fatigue.

In fact in its dossier “to Eat well and lead better” as desaconsejaban the consumption of coffee, caffeinated drinks and carbonated beverages, for contributing in the generation of stomach problems, such as heartburn and, as a consequence, a discomfort that can make it more tedious our journey.

so after this analysis may already be able to answer categorically this question: what should support Traffic to these advertising campaigns? No, it should not.