The real candy buy back

Join the buy-back!

As various primary schools around Australia prepare to celebrate their Halloween discos, and as local children begin the US practice of ‘trick-or-treating’, it’s nice to hear that American dentists have found a way to use it to promote oral health. For the fifth consecutive year, Wisconsin, US, dentist Dr. Chris Kammer is spearheading the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, which has mushroomed from 100 dentist offices taking part to thousands of offices nationwide.

Kammer and the other participating dental professionals will pay $1 a pound for up to five pounds of unopened candy brought to their respective offices.

This year’s goal is to collect enough candy to send 150,000 sweet packages to military personnel overseas.

Dr Kammer is a founding member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He has worked as a professional concert promoter, television producer, disc jockey, and more. After he built a new practice and refocused more toward dentistry.  The company created monthly promotions for Dr. Kammer. A few years ago, the PR company asked Dr. Kammer what his promotion should be for October.

Dr. Kammer is the first to say, he did not invent the idea of a candy buyback at Halloween, but he did think it was a great concept. He and his PR company ran with it, then decided to send the candy to US troops overseas.

The program took on a life of its own. It worked before, during, and after the actual event. In all of his experience, nothing impacted his local publicity more than this single event. Parents thought it was great. Kids got excited. “As a dentist, you can own Halloween!” he says.

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  1. Buying back candy does nothing for the education required to allow informed choice as to long term repercussion. A small step in the right direction is the least criticism of this well-intentioned approach. Can we not do better ? Why is the confectioners guild so successful?


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