Imagine companies advertising how bad their products are. If you think there is some benefit to be gained from advertising, then this behavior makes no sense.
Yet several companies started doing just that. I should also point out that such advertising was mandated by the Department of Justice.
So what companies are doing this, and perhaps more importantly, why are they doing this?
Philip Morris USA, Lorillard, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Altria Group are the companies involved. If you don’t recognize those names, all these companes are part of the tobacco industry.
The ads are the culmination of nearly a two-decade court battle between the tobacco companies and the Justice Department.
The ads are considered “corrective statements” that a federal court judge ordered tobacco companies in the U.S. to release to inform the public about the dangers of smoking.
Here’s a mockup of what one of the TV ads may look like:
A pretty simple ad; no color, no people. Just a powerful non-smoking message designed to dissuade people from starting or to quit smoking.
Since the ads just came out a week ago it’s hard to measure their impact at this point in time. I certainly hope the ads accomplish their goals.
I’m sure we all know loved ones who have suffered because of their addiction to tobacco. And if these ads can stop just one person from smoking, then they will be worth it.
And to end this post on a more uplifting note, here’s a great video. I’m watching the Jimmy V classic on TV, and in between the two games they played the famous Jimmy V speech from the 1993 Espy Awards show. At the end of the video, Jimmy talks about the creation of the Jimmy V foundation to support cancer research. I’m guessing Jimmy would have been in favor of these tobacco ads.
Jimmy’s speech never gets old, and the message is as powerful today as it was back then.