205484 Operation Storefront: A coalition and a college raising advertising awareness

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beth Canfield-Simbro, PhD, MPH, CHES , Human Performance and Sports Business, Mount Union College, Alliance, OH
Timothy G. Gabrelcik, BS, CHES , Health Education, Stark County Health Department, Canton, OH
Stark County's Tobacco Prevention Coalition received a small grant from the Ohio Department of Health to implement Operation Storefront in areas throughout the county. Operation Storefront is a project that assesses marketing practices of the tobacco and alcohol industries toward youth; groups of youths and adults visit retail stores where youth would shop and examine product placement to determine if tobacco and alcohol products are easily accessible to youth, can be shoplifted easily, and are displayed alongside candy as well as if advertisements are at a youth's eye level. Funding for up to 200 surveys was received and efforts are being made to target rural and urban areas in the county. Surveys collect data regarding the type of store surveyed, advertisement and product location of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, and beer/wine/wine coolers; students are encouraged to take photographs of advertisements. The total number of advertisements will be counted. The three most heavily advertised brands of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars will be reported; content analysis and descriptive statistics will be used to determine relationships between areas in the county, like rural and urban, with brands and marketing practices. Eight Mount Union College students participated in Operation Storefront from February to April 2009; their experiences and findings will be discussed, as will media coverage of those findings and any changes resulting from heightened community awareness of the marketing practices. Funds received for completing the surveys were donated to a local community agency to encourage health education efforts there.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the results of Operation Storefront in Stark County, Ohio Identify benefits of college and coalition partnerships

Keywords: Collaboration, Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I assisted in planning, implementing, and evaluating Operation Storefront in Stark County, OH.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.