What's the BADvertising Institute
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History of the BADvertising Institute

Bonnie Vierthaler, MFA, is an internationally recognized artist, educator and activist. In 1986 she began doctoring-up tobacco ads to make them honest. Using her art to immunize young people against deceptive advertising, she created The Joy of Smoking...A Spoof on Cigarette Advertising, a traveling exhibition of 63 of her honest ads. She took the exhibit to schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, shopping malls--even the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington DC at the invitation of then Senator William S. Cohen.

To make her work more broadly available, she reproduced and distributed the images as a slide show and posters. She called the resulting business The BADvertising Institute, as a spoof on the Tobacco Institute. Her BADvertising images have also been seen on billboards, bus cards, and TV Specials as well as in videos, national magazines and professional journals.

Since 1995, The BADvertising Institute's award-winning web site has been impacting young people and long-time tobacco addicts alike. Hundreds of "thank you" s have credited Vierthaler's images with turning kids off to tobacco, motivating smokers to kick their habit, and reinforcing the desire to quit… "You saved my life!" The BADvertising Web Site, recognized for its leadership in quality and content, is widely referenced by students and professionals. A catalog of BADvertising products and services can be found on the site.

Vierthaler's BADvertising Train-the-Trainer Seminars are teaching prevention specialists how to fight fire with fire. By employing the same right-brain techniques that advertisers use, educators are learning to kindle positive desires and behaviors. In her BADvertising Workshops she works directly with young people; the BADvertising Slide Presentations generate community support. More than 20 BADvertising programs were contracted by NJ ASSIST in the the late 90's. Her new Consulting Service assists prevention programs.

Vierthaler has a Master of Fine Arts Degree, and a BS in Art Education. She is listed in Who's Who in American Art and is the recipient of The Giraffe Award, given to people who stick their necks out in the public interest.

At the 10th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Beijing (1997), BADvertising was enthusiastically received as a refreshing and much-needed right-brain approach to the tobacco problem worldwide.

Vierthaler is currently living, teaching and BADvertising in China. She returns during semester breaks to give BADvertising Workshops and Train-the-Trainer Seminars in the US. and does consulting and BADvertising program design from China during the year.

Update: BADvertising-China

In 1997 my BADvertising presentations at the 11th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Beijing were very well received. I had been studying Chinese on my own and this conference brought my two interests together. Someone at the conference suggested that I could teach English in China as a way of bringing BADvertising to China. By 1999 I was packing my bags, and in the Fall of 2000 I began teaching Spoken English in the Economics Department at Xiamen University.

When my students asked me what kind of work I did in the US and I told them about my BADvertising work they got very excited and wanted to do the same thing in China.

Things are different in China,
and so is BADvertising....

By teaching Spoken English and lecturing in Chinese Universities, Junior Highs, and High Schools, I've connected with thousands of Chinese students, teachers, professors, administrators, and education departments...learning more about Chinese youth and their concerns, and raising awareness of the tobacco issues.

Students at Xiamen University were inspired to carry the work forward by forming a new association called Green Breathing, to bring Smokefree Air to China. We initiated the Smokefree Marathon campaign in Xiamen and Smokefree Campus campaigns at Xiamen University, in addition to numerous consciousness-raising campaigns in schools, universities, and public places.

Green Breathing has been featured in numerous Chinese newspapers and TV programs and has received international recognition for our innovative activities.  Our co-founder has been elected as the Chinese representative to the Coordinating Committee for GYAT, the Global Youth Advocacy Training Network, addressing the tobacco issues worldwide.


What's the BADvertising Institute
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China | US | The Buzz | Products | Services

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© 1995, 2000, 2005 Bonnie Vierthaler