San Antonio Metro Health District Taps Interlex for City Obesity Campaign
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metro Health District has chosen Interlex Communications as its agency of record to create and steward a $1 million comprehensive marketing campaign to decrease and prevent obesity in the Alamo City, which has been consistently ranked by popular media as one of America’s “fattest cities.”
The campaign is part of a larger $15.6 million grant awarded to the City by the Centers for Disease Control to improve San Antonio’s Built Environment. The initiative aims to facilitate changes in obesity-related behavior by educating the public and making the environment, policies and systems in the community conducive to a more active lifestyle and healthier nutrition choices. Among other strategies, the effort includes making the city bike-commuter friendly, developing Farmer’s Markets in communities with health disparities and creating agreements with school districts, parks, faith-based organizations and universities to allow public use of their facilities for physical activity.
The funds come from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, which aims to reduce risk factors and prevent and delay chronic disease while promoting wellness in both children and adults, and has also enlisted 43 other municipalities and counties across the nation in the fight against obesity.
Interlex Communications, a San Antonio-based social marketing agency and one of the only firms nationwide exclusively dedicated to socially conscientious communications, will work with the San Antonio Metro Health District to mobilize the community and its leaders through culturally-relevant creative design, advertising buying and placement, event planning, media relations, influencer outreach and nonprofit partnership development. The firm – consistently ranked among the Top Agency Brands by Ad Age Magazine – has previously served the Texas Department of State Health Services, federal government agencies, and corporations including American Express and TracFone Wireless in advocacy campaigns.
“This is a tremendous honor for our agency,” said Rudy Ruiz, president and CEO, Interlex. “For the last 15 years, our work has been dedicated to producing groundbreaking campaigns, from improving child immunizations rates in Texas to bridging the telecommunications divide for low-income households nationwide. Today, we’re being called to use our expertise to tackle an epidemic that threatens not only the health but the economic future of our hometown, in our own backyard. We look forward to overcoming this historic challenge with the San Antonio Metro Health District.”
In San Antonio, obesity is a serious and growing health crisis as 37.9 percent of San Antonians are overweight and 28.4 percent are obese. The problem is widespread but firmly nestled in the city’s cultural and ethnic roots. San Antonio is 61 percent Hispanic (782,220) and 52 percent Mexican American (659,461). According to CDC research, both population groups exhibit a greater prevalence of obesity and overweight, contributing to deadly health disparities reflected in higher levels of diabetes and heart disease.
While the campaign messaging and creative development is still in the early stages, a bold call-to-action will be presented to the people of San Antonio, to change their ways for a brighter and healthier future and to do it together as a community.
About San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is the public health agency charged by State law, City code, and County resolution with the responsibility for providing public health programs in San Antonio and unincorporated areas of Bexar County.
Interlex is a leading advocacy, cause-related and corporate social marketing firm with offices in San Antonio, New York, Washington, DC, Tampa and Los Angeles. Its mission is to help clients make a positive impact in the lives of diverse audiences. It is one of the largest Hispanic-owned agencies in the nation and provides a range of global and national clients seamless General and Multicultural Marketing services within an integrated full-service agency model.