Last week's News

News article for the week of 6/21/07.

Latest Antismoking Advertisements Suspect
By, Grey Opinion

After decades of antismoking messages being plastered on the sides of the very product they are designed to discourage and additional information extolling the problems associated with the habit it seems that cigarette companies may have finally found a way around the prohibitions of advertising their product.
Ironically it has taken the form of more antismoking adverts.
That should have been warning enough, after decades of resistance, foot dragging and sitting in front of committees and lying through their teeth about test results, scientific data, séances, fake faked moon landings to distract the public this sudden change of tact should have set of alarms all over the place.
By and large these efforts have been very, very subtle. Whereas in most of the Western world cigarettes are advertised only in certain magazines and even then with the usual warnings along every border and picture of the product in question, these adverts contain young, smiling, partying people, masculine men, beautiful women, happy puppies, Lisa Kudrow being fired from a cannon, that sort of thing, the average antismoking advert tends to be blunt, showing unhappy, unattractive people in dreary settings and very graphic pictures of internal organs being drenched in tar, smoke and anything else found in typical cigarettes short of shaved weasels (at least until the test results for that one are published).
The ads being put out by smoking companies include the now infamous “Just don’t do it” series of ads, consisting of dull, dreary colours yet at the same time of extremely beautiful people smoking.
If it hadn’t been announced as an antismoking ad no one would have known what it was about. For all we knew it was another guerrilla movie promotion.
However it mixes the old standby of attractive people and smoking, the message is there to be had.
Some attempts are a little more heavy handed: “It has almost certainly been proven by someone with something to do with medical matters that smoking, however flavoursome, invigorating and cool may cause some hiccups on the health front of certain individuals.”
That was the caption under a picture of Kate Moss and Pete Dougherty, so I’m pretty sure it was a serious attempt to scare people off smoking.
Of course then there are things like “Leo does it”. Not an anti smoking ad, not a smoking ad, not exactly anyway since no one is entirely sure what it meant. This is a poster in the New York subway with that caption beneath a picture of a smoking Leonardo DiCaprio, who was also wearing sunglasses, playing Hungry Hungry Hippos and wearing Bermuda shorts.
This could be anything, anti or pro smoking, sunglasses, Hungry Hungry Hippos or Bermuda shorts.
The attention garnered by DiCaprio’s immediate denouncement of this as an obviously faked photo since he never deliberately wears Bermuda shorts has only garnered more attention.
How long this campaign depends on how much of an impact the adverts have on smoking or non-smoking, something that also depends on the outcome of the latest fake faked Mars landing scandal.

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