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Dental Sponsorship Marketing Exercise

7 March 2005

Dental Sponsorship Marketing Exercise

The Health Minister’s enthusiastic endorsement of McDonald’s sponsorship for a children’s dental clinic demonstrates a new level of cynicism in relation to the Labour Government’s provision of health care, says New Zealand First’s health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.

“Ronald McDonald House charities is sponsoring a mobile dental clinic in Northland to the tune of $750,000.

“The quid pro quo for this generosity is that the outside of the truck will feature a picture of Ronald McDonald.

“This is nothing but free mobile advertising on a massive scale, legitimised by the fact that the clown will be holding a toothbrush and toothpaste. The mind boggles as to what else can be promoted in such a fashion if the idea takes off, said Mrs Stewart.

“The Minister appears to find this totally acceptable and is even prepared to endorse this particular scheme by launching it personally.

“Rather than seriously addressing the nationwide problem of funding shortages for dental health, diminishing numbers of dental therapists, run-down dental clinics and rising tooth decay rates, the Minister has opted for a photo opportunity with Ronald McDonald, and the resultant commercialism which will follow.

“She should be ashamed of herself,” said Mrs Stewart.


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