About This Site

This revised BADvertising website is a labor of love, a work in progress, an experiment in on-line collaboration, and an effort to transform left-brain information into right-brain impact.

This site doesn¡¯t pretend to be a scientific or scholarly treatise. Our focus is on advertising, counter-advertising, effective communication, and behavior change. Information alone doesn¡¯t change behavior. It¡¯s the emotional impact of the information that gets results. More like a work of art¡­

Here are some tips for getting around easily.

Tip about the text If you see symbols in the text, it's because the site is set up to display Chinese characters as well as English. Just click on View in the tool bar at the top and go down to Encoding. Select Auto Select and Chinese Simplified.

Tip for page links Once you've looked at a page, the red link will turn orange.

Our first website, created in the summer of 1995, came about when a friend came home from a computer class and said, ¡®You¡¯re not going to believe this! Now there¡¯s a way to put pictures on the Internet! It¡¯s perfect for getting your BADvertising work out into the world!" He set out to learn HTML, I prepared the content, and then we sat side by side at the computer and created the BADvertising website. If you searched for tobacco on the World Wide Web that summer, there was the BADvertising website and one other.

The 2000 version of the site came about when I responded to the call to come to China. Web technology had come a long way¡­so had counter-advertising and the movement toward a smoke-free society. There was much to say, and great new ways for saying it. I wanted an upbeat, up-to-date site that would stand in my place while I got my feet on the ground in China. My friend was no longer available, so I dipped into my savings, hired a professional web designer, and together we forged the 2000 website. The site used very sophisticated techniques, so once in China, where everyone uses Dreamweaver, would-be helpers were stymied and some of the glitches were never resolved. Please accept my apologies.

Because of the glitches, I never announced the site, but just by word-of-mouth (and your links) we¡¯ve been getting 10,000-25,000 hits per day and we¡¯re often #1 on Google, Yahoo, and MSN if you search for tobacco advertising.

About this new Site In China, word about BADvertising spread quickly and everyone said we should make a Chinese version of the website for China. Everyone here can tell you that smoking is harmful, but that¡¯s where it ends¡­they have no idea how harmful. So I started imagining what they would need to know about the tobacco issues in order to understand the hypocrisy behind the tobacco tricks. Everyday as I wrote, shocking, disturbing new scientific findings were being revealed about the health links, and more lies were being exposed. Everyone needed to have this new information!

So what started as ¡°fixing a couple of glitches on the old website before we got started on the Chinese version¡± turned into a complete overhaul. We couldn¡¯t find the old fonts, so every page had to be rebuilt with the new fonts. We reorganized the structure to make things easier to find, and added the Before and After images to the Gallery section to facilitate understanding of the BADvertising concept. We also created the What You Need To Know section (for the truth against which to measure tobacco issues), the BADvertising BBS (an experiment in online collaboration) and an innovative section for online translation of this website into Chinese¡­also a BBS.

When people learned that we were planning to do a Chinese version, they wanted to help¡­and they did!

The head web designer for this 2005 version comes to us from the Xiamen Government Information (Web Design) Center. He and his department have both given generously of their time and expertise, as have friends from Dell-China¡¯s tech-support team, students and teachers from Xiamen University and the Xiamen #2 Middle School, and assorted other friends¡­all passionate about the smoking problem and eager to help create a smoke-free society in China, for the health and well-being of their friends, families, future generations, and themselves.

Bonnie Vierthaler
Artist, Educator, and Founder of the BADvertising Institute
March 2005

Please note: This is not a commercial website. I¡¯m an artist and educator. For almost 20 years now, BADvertising has been my work and my passion, but it has never been my job. In order to support this work, I¡¯m teaching spoken English in China, and learning about the young people here at the same time.

The posters that you see for sale in our Products section are the result of a 2-week BADvertising tour in Lancaster County, PA in 1987 when a group of doctors, schools, and community members said, ¡°these images should be in every school in the US!¡± The doctors bought and printed the mailers, the schools covered the postage, and I paid for the posters. In a two-day marathon, hundreds of Lancasterites worked long hours to send a set of 4 posters to every school in the US from fourth grade up¡ªthat was over 30,000 schools and 120,000 posters. I teach to support the work and I used the money from the sale of my house to buy the posters. The sale of the remaining posters helps to offset that initial expense, which was huge.

We're trying to provide what you've asked for. Let us know how we're doing.

Brought to you by
The BADvertising Institute
© 1995, 2000, 2005 Bonnie Vierthaler