How Not to Do a Pedestrian Safety PSA
"A public service ad video and safety campaign released yesterday has been met with a strong negative reaction and agencies involved in its creation want to minimize their assocation [sic] with it," reports Jonathan Maus.
Portland-based marketing agency 3 Thirds created the "Look First. Walk Second" campaign with funding from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. "When LookFirstWalkSecond.com first went live a PBOT webpage about walking safety was linked to from the bottom of every page. But later in the day those links were gone," according to Maus. As Maus notes, Clackamas Community College has also been working to clarify its role in the campaign since it hit the Internet.
The outrage directed at the campaign responds to the depiction of legal behavior by pedestrians as inherently dangerous. Organizations like BikePortland and Oregon Walks have released statements, quoted by Maus, to oppose the campaign's messaging.
The article doesn't exactly cast drivers in a positive light, to be sure. "Typical" drivers featured in the video include a "woman with too many dogs in the car" and "two teenagers making out." Still, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that walking is reckless and illicit behavior if taking the campaign at face value. The video is found below, so you can decide for yourself.