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Researcher: Let's not promote Santa's dark side

Santa.jpg

An article from Bloomberg made me chuckle today. The topic? Santa Claus, and an Australian researcher's concern that St. Nick's lifestyle promotes "obesity, drunk-driving and other unhealthy behaviors." Here's more:

The use of Santa in advertising should be regulated because images of him promoting alcohol and cigarettes convey potentially harmful messages, Nathan Grills, a public health researcher at Melbourne’s Monash University, wrote in the British Medical Journal. The red suit-wearing, white-bearded Father Christmas has become a “marketing ploy,” tarnishing the legend of Saint Nicholas and his gift-giving generosity, he said.

“He’s the most widely recognized fantasy figure in the world,” Grills said in a telephone interview today. “If he has such popular appeal, should he be advertising products like cigarettes, alcohol and obesity-linked foods?”

Grills' paper, which is in the current issue of BMJ, is here. (A subscription is needed to view the full text.)

Image from srogan

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