At first, I thought I was looking at a sale flyer for Pavillions.
Not being a smoker, I usually find second-hand smoke annoying in outdoor dining areas at restaurants, on beaches and at other public spaces. But do I need a cutesy ad campaign with precious graphics and copy to announce that smoking is a big fat no-no?
How about a simple, official-looking “No smoking allowed under penalty of law” sign instead of this silly poster campaign that the city of Santa Monica is spending $150,000 to execute? (There are four other versions.)
Instead of stating forthrightly that smoking in an area is illegal, why make it seem like it’s an option if you’re really not in the mood for yucky asparagus?
In 2007, Santa Monica banned smoking in most popular public spaces, like the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. The ban also applies to outdoor common areas such as bus stops, ATM lines, local beaches and 20 feet from the entrances of any public building.
In 2008, the law was extended to include restaurants’ outdoor dining and waiting areas.
In today’s NY Times, Adam Radinsky, Santa Monica’s deputy city attorney, says he thinks the cuteness factor is “playful, a fun type of campaign, not too much the government telling you what to do, not too Big Brother-ish.”
I like to think I’m as liberal as the next Whole Foods shopper, but is a touchy-feely, Sesame Street approach to enforcing laws supposed to inspire confidence in government?