A small group of American medical experts and other activists took on the coal industry with the launch, yesterday, of the fake charitable initiative and website coal cares. With the offer of special branded inhalers to take the stigma out of childhood asthma and helpful debunking of the myths of alternative energy supply, it’s a potentially controversial way to generate media interest by lampooning the culture that it challenges.
This has been followed up with press releases quoting statistics from the American Lung Association showing that polution kills 13,000 people each year in the US and making explicit links to cancer prevelance.
Developed through the YesLab, the forum for developing media grabbing activist projects, and in tandem with the Yes Men, who have had high profile successes with similar stunts challenging big corporations such as Dow Chemical, Exxon and Halliburton, it would be interesting to know what the pick-up rate across US media has been. But meanwhile, I’ll leave you with an interesting fact from their Asthma Trivia section…
Piggy, from Lord of the Flies, didn’t die from an asthma attack
Piggy (the “fat kid”) did have terrible asthma, but he sure didn’t die from it! Rather, he perished from a boulder dropped on his head by a group of his frustrated peers.