DHS downplays terrorism in new readiness ads

Published 6 December 2006

Ready.gov campaign reemphasizes preparedness but lays off fear; new ads take a lighthearted approach to encourage stockpiling food and water

It is hard to believe that DHS would ever downplay terrorism, but that seems to be the case with a series of new preparedness commercials linked to the Ready.gov Web site. In one older ad, then-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge warned, “The next attack could happen to any community at any time. Terrorists force us to make a choice: We can be afraid or we can be ready. American’s aren’t afraid, and we will be ready.”

The new ads — part of what is called an “all hazards” campaign — do not mention terrrorism at all as they warn families to create home stockpiles of canned food and bottled water. Instead they take a lighthearted approach, featuring family members bemusingly realizing how negligent they have so far been in making preparations. “What do we need in an advertisement to get someone to actually act?” said DHS spokeswoman Joanna Gonzalez. “You need a motivator. These ads have real families.”

-read more in Jon Fox’s Global Security Newswire report