I was chatting the other day with a city employee from the public health department. Her job is to help do research to create messaging raising awareness around unhealthy things like soda and smoking. We got to talking about the uncertainties of her job once the mayor hits his term limit. There’s no question Mayor Bloomberg has been pushing a very progressive public health agenda, and his successor might not want to follow in these footsteps in the allocation of public dollars.
So what’s going to happen to these folks who’re doing this important work? Well, they might have to find new jobs. And it’d be the end of what has been a pretty good run of behavioral economics in action
But that got me to thinking: what if Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to public health messaging doesn’t have to end, and Mike Bloomberg can keep it up? How can he keep it up?
I think he should open an ad agency.
Here’s how it would work.
Start a company, let’s call it Bloom & Partners. Hire a small permanent staff from NYC’s vibrant creative community. Use it to create all the Bloomberg marketing and advertising.
Then, work on public health briefs, special projects and more pro-social agenda items. Bring in freelancers who’re willing to cut their day rates for the ethical laundering they’re about to receive. Send those ads around the country, or the world, and stop ridiculous Ad Council afterthought creative, which is barely above student work in quality, by making a source of communications that hits the entire spectrum of the national public health conversation.
One of the most interesting aspects of Bloomberg’s post-mayorship is how fluently all the staff he sucks out of government will speak government, enabling all sorts of innovative public-private partnerships. So, if anyone can make this cost-effective, it’s those guys.