(cross posted everywhere)

For those fed up with the unfairly high cost of prescription drugs, Proposition 79 provides a simple solution: Proposition 79  will use the purchasing power of the state of California to negotiate deep, enforceable discounts on prescription drugs for millions of Californians.

The drug companies have raised a record-breaking $80 million dollars to run false and misleading ads around the state; They also have sponsored a sham counter-measure, Prop 78, that looks similar but lacks enforcement–it allows the drug companies to decide which drugs get discounted, which get excluded, what levels the discounts are set, whether the drug companies participate at all, and if enough don’t, the program ends.

In order to fight against the most expensive ballot campaign in the history of the nation–financed by the ultimate special interest, the drug companies, the Proposition 79 knows it needs to do something different.  Something never done in the history of ballot campaigns.
Instead of having Proposition 79 fought on behalf of consumers, Proposition 79 will be fought by consumers, those fed up by the drug companies’ unfair prices. The consumer, health, senior, and community groups behind Proposition 79 are turning the campaign over to the people. We’ll let consumers, on the Internet, design and choose the campaign TV ads for this campaign.

The drug companies are notorious for their false and misleading advertising and marketing tactics, for their products (with the disclaimers about all those side effects!), and in this campaign. Numerous newspapers, from the Sacramento Bee to the Orange County Register, have cited their ads as false and misleading.

We don’t need to do that. All we need to do is simply tell voters the differences between the measures (78 lack enforcement, 79 has it), who supports which measure (the drug companies versus consumer groups), and who benefits (Prop 79 provides deeper discounts to twice as many Californians).

As an example, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has produced one ad that the Yes on 79 Campaign is beginning to air. But we are looking to YOU to help us design and pick an ad that we can use in the final weeks of the campaign.

The Alliance for a Better California, with the Yes on 79 campaign, will host this new contest, “No Disclaimer Needed Ad Contest: Better Ads for Cheaper Drugs.” But the best way to confront the drug companies is to participate and to enter!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Make your own ad that tells Californians about the differences between the consumer groups Proposition 79, and the drug companies’ sham Proposition 78.  The ad can be video, animation, text and images, or even simple text and audio.  Be creative. The only restrictions are that the ad must be on message, be 30 seconds or less in length, and that you have the legal rights or license to use to all content you include.
  2. Between now, and  11:59 P.M. October 16<sup>th</sup&gt 2005, submit your ad in MPEG or Apple Quicktime format to BetterCA.com’s contest site. Include your contact information – and let us know how you would like to be identified on the site (full name, first initial last name, first name last initial, nickname, etc.).  
  3. All the submitted ads, except those that are judged to be inappropriate by the administrators, will be made available for viewing on the Alliance for a Better California’s website.
  4. Beginning at 12:01 A.M. on Monday, October 17<sup>th</sup&gt 2005, BetterCA.com community members will judge the submitted content based on the clarity of message, the originality and creativity, and most importantly the overall quality and impact of the ad. Community judging will end at 11:59 PM, Tuesday, October 18<sup>th</sup&gt 2005.
  5. At the close of community judging, the site administrators will tabulate the results from the community, and select the top 5 entries. These will be posted and announced as “Community Favorites.”
  6. A panel of media experts, who will again rate the entries on clarity, creativity, quality and impact, will judge the community favorites.  The entry with the highest average rating from our panel of media experts, will be declared the overall winner. The winner will be announced on or about  Wednesday, October 19<sup>th</sup&gt, and will be featured on BetterCA.com. The winning ad may even be broadcast all over California.

You can help us defeat the big drug companies, and get cheaper prescription drugs more Californians can count on. submit your ad today, or contribute to help air the winning ad.

Please see the official rules.

Help us spread the word, link back to this post or the main contest page on BetterCA.

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