“Be SMART Florida” Statewide COVID-19 Campaign

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Launches “Be SMART Florida” Statewide COVID-19 Campaign

Aug 3, 2020

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced the launch of Be SMART Florida, a new statewide COVID-19 consumer awareness campaign asking Floridians to take small actions with proven results to slow the pandemic’s spread.

A nonpartisan, bilingual, multi-channel awareness campaign, Be SMART Florida is an acronym asking Floridians to Social distance, Mask up, Avoid crowds, Remember to wash or sanitize hands, and Throw away disposable items like masks, gloves, and wipes. These common-sense steps are crucial to slowing COVID-19; a World Health Organization-backed study showed that COVID-19’s spread is reduced by up to 85% through wearing masks and up to 82% by social distancing.

The campaign’s launch comes after Commissioner Fried, a member of the Florida Cabinet who oversees Florida’s consumer protection agency, has heard from Floridians, families, parents, teachers, farmworkers, business owners, and others concerned about COVID-19. Last week, Fried also held a virtual roundtable discussion with frontline doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers on the state’s COVID-19 response.

“We’ve never needed to be more united than right now, yet we’re divided by simple actions like wearing a mask and keeping our distance. To reopen our state and our economy safely, we must all be in this together and do the small things that make a big difference in slowing down COVID-19,” said Commissioner Fried. “As Florida’s consumer protection agency, we take seriously the responsibility to help Florida’s people, businesses, essential workers, and economy be safe. I’m hopeful that by working together, we’ll all do our part to beat COVID-19 — so let’s be SMART, Florida!”

The campaign features short #BeSMARTFL social media videos from well-known Floridians and influencers, shareable graphics and animated videos with important information, and a social media toolkit that encourages everyone to spread the word. In the coming weeks, radio PSAs will also begin airing, and other campaign elements will be introduced. Today, the campaign is launching with short videos from former Miami HEAT player Alonzo Mourning, Congresswoman and former U.S. Secretary of Health Donna Shalala, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, entertainer and entrepreneur DJ IRIE, and State Rep. Javier Fernández (in Spanish). These videos will be found on the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is Florida’s state consumer protection agency, responsible for handling consumer complaints, ensuring food safety at grocery stores, markets, and convenience stores, protecting against unfair and unsafe business practices, and more. FDACS handles over 400,000 consumer complaints and inquiries annually, oversees more than 500,000 regulated devices, entities, and products like gas pumps and grocery scales, performs over 61,000 lab analyses on products like gasoline and brake fluid, performs nearly 9,000 fair ride inspections, and returned over $2.8 million to consumers through mediations with businesses last year. Since March 1, FDACS has received more than 815 consumer complaints related to COVID-19.

Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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