AVMA Message Hits Times Square JumboTron

It isn’t often that the AVMA makes a splash in Times Square, but we can now say that we’ve arrived. The AVMA and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant collaborated on a public-service announcement that is airing on the CBS JumboTron Super Screen in the Big Apple. The message? That improper disposal of medications can be harmful to people, animals and the environment. The 15-second spot will run through March 31 about 18 times every day – or about every 80 minutes. The screen is located on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th avenues in Times Square Plaza.

 The video is just one element of a larger initiative designed to inform and educate the public about the dangers of improper disposal of pharmaceuticals and other medicines. It’s all part of a new partnership the AVMA has forged with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program

We will conduct much of our work with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, one of more than 30 Sea Grant programs in the U.S. working with communities to reduce improper pharmaceutical disposal. Now, alongside the AVMA, the informational campaign can grow to encompass new audiences, including animal owners. The AVMA also has extensive resources available to you – the veterinarian – to help you properly dispose of the waste your practice generates. 

By increasing the awareness of the options available for the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and the environmental consequences of improper disposal, we hope and anticipate that fewer and fewer medications will be flushed or poured into our water system.

8 thoughts on “AVMA Message Hits Times Square JumboTron

  1. @Wade Tate
    You are correct. It certainly is a waste of dues. Perhaps we
    should move the AVMA headquarters away from the Chicago area and into
    an area where more practical people tend to reside.

  2. Dr. Myer, please help me better understand what you’re asking. Increased public awareness of the AVMA’s efforts in any area increases the AVMA’s visibility in general, which can increase traffic to the site (and social media) and give us more reach and influence. We use that to help us reach more people about many issues. Have we developed specific cause-and-effect-type plans that trace the visibility on this program directly to messaging about veterinary services? No. It’s an overall visibility that allows us to reach more people about ALL of the issues that concern us and the profession, not just one.
    Please remember that although the economics issue is top-of-mind and top priority for the majority of our members, there are still other outreach programs that are very important to animal health and welfare and are in line with AVMA’s strategic goals, mission and/or vision. This drug disposal program is one of them, and proper drug disposal benefits animal health as well as human and ecosystem health.
    Does that better answer your question? If not, please let me know.

  3. @Eden Myers Dr. Myers, the answer to that question is beyond my purview. The ads were donated solely for promotion of that program, and therefore focused on the message of that program.
    AVMA is involved in a number of programs to address their concerns, including the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare. You can read more about that on our website and in JAVMA News. It’s also been mentioned on this blog.

  4. Wade and Laird, we understand your concerns, but this was a very specific outreach program and the opportunity was only associated with that program. We entered into a partnership with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) that focuses on outreach to vets and pet owners about the proper disposal of medications. The group that provided the Times Square opportunity provided it solely based on the message associated with that campaign – it was not free time donated for AVMA to use as we wish, it had to be promoting that outreach. They approached the IISG, not the AVMA, about the opportunity, but since it’s a partnership, the AVMA was able to gain from the visibility of the ads.

  5. I agree with Wade. Anyone else concerned about the fragmentation of our profession and decreased patient visits among other issues? How about a message to remind pet owners that veterinarians should be the source for their pet’s health care in an effort to direct clients back into our practices. Why are patient visits and veterinary spending down at a time when the human-animal bond is growing stronger and people are spending more money on their pets?

  6. I am disappointed that the message that the AVMA thinks is most important to get on the NYC jumbotron is about flushing medications. How in the world does this do anything to help your members? Is this what the AVMA thinks their members are concerned about?