BHF Get Your 30 Minutes A Day

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has concluded a risque poster campaign that encourages the over-50s to take up 30 minutes of exercise a day. The campaign, launched in April 2007, included three posters, two of which evoked complaints to the The Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA received 75 complaints about billboards featuring a nude man embracing a women in her swimming costume.

Naked man and female swimmer in BHF poster

“Taking the stairs. Sex. Gardening. Swimming. Walking The Dog. Get your 30 minutes a day, any way.”

The ASA received eight complaints about a billboard featuring a man combining walking the dog and washing the car.

Dog and car wash together in BHF poster

“Dancing. Swimming. Walking The Dog. Gardening. Washing the car. Vacuuming. Get your 30 minutes a day, any way.”

The ASA said that while complainants described the adverts as offensive it did not feel there are grounds for an investigation and the case has subsequently been closed.

In Northern Ireland a sister organisation copped the flak. Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke had letters and phone calls from supporters who had mistakenly assumed NICHS was behind the campaign. The confusion had been exacerbated by the decision of BHF to drop the word “British” from the billboards placed in Northern Ireland.

The third billboard, featuring a man behind a push mower under the surface of his swimming pool, doesn’t appear to have evoked the same complaints, despite the danger he faces of slicing his toes off in the blades.

Man and mower in swimming pool in BHF poster

“Taking the stairs. Swimming. Walking The Dog. Gardening. Dancing. Get your 30 minutes a day, any way.”

The 30 a Day campaign set out to tackle one of the most important issues affecting the health of older adults – physical inactivity. Inactivity is responsible for around 20% of cases of coronary heart disease in the UK, as well as increasing the risk of other life threatening diseases. Around 35,000 people in Britain die every year due to physical inactivity. That’s one person every 15 minutes. People over the age of 50 are at much greater risk from heart disease. This makes getting active all the more important, but many people don’t realise this. Only 30% of 50-64 year olds are active enough to safeguard their health.

The 30 a Day campaign aimed to tackle this in two ways:
– Showing the over 50s how easy it can be to get active
– Urging government to take a lead in helping over 50s to get active.


Photography was by Dan Burn-Forti.

Filed under: BHF, Fitness, Print