Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stupid Anti Tobacco Ads On Television

In my part of the country, television is filled with various anti-tobacco advertisements all the time. While teaching our kids not to smoke is a very important goal, some of these "wacko" groups seem to be wasting valuable resources because the message they are sending out is, well, pretty stupid. The “State of Texas” produced a new anti-tobacco ad I saw several times this past weekend. One part of the message had some tough looking “biker guy” saying that he saw a person once try to sell cigarettes to a kid and he didn't think that was right, so he wasn't going to let that happen.

The message I got out of this ad was that people should cause trouble at stores if they suspect a clerk of selling cigarettes to a minor. First off, if people really try to interject their anti-tobacco thinking into retail establishments around the country there is going to be trouble and violence and most likely the customer who is causing the trouble is going to jail. To me, an advertisement like this is very wrong and just plain stupid. I'm not really sure exactly how these nationwide lawsuits were settled almost ten years ago against the tobacco industry, but apparently some of that settlement money was distributed into anti-smoking advertisements and some folks that got money to spend are not that smart.

Another one of these anti-tobacco ads that just driven me nuts is the one with a guy who has a really crazy hairstyle and he goes around repeating ridicules things which were said by tobacco company executives over the years. Such as, "the government should ban sleep because more people died in their sleep" and stupid stuff like that. The mistakes I see in these types of messages are that they are clearly produced by "wacko" groups who probably got a cut of money from anti-smoking lawsuits and they must find a way to spend it. This appears to be more a case of money looking for a message rather than a message needing to get out to the general public.

I don't think there is a person alive on planet earth that doesn't already know that smoking is bad for their health. These new TV ads are not doing anything to reduce smoking. Most of the ads I'm seeing are just produced to make the tobacco industry look bad and that is wrong because the last time I checked it is still legal for an adult to purchase and use tobacco products. If this industry and product are so terrible, why hasn't the government banned its use? We all know the answer to that question, which is huge tax revenue potential. Every time a state or local government needs some extra money for their general fund or special programs, they just add another tax to the cost of a pack of cigarettes.

I wish these stupid anti-tobacco ads would stop running on television all the time. However, I don't see that happening until whoever is controlling the money to produce and run these ads, turns off the financing. Many of these current, "stop smoking" advertisements are not working and are basically a waste of time and money. If there really is that much money available to spend on anti-smoking ad campaigns, then the "money folks" need to find better advertising agencies to present that message.

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