Anti-Smoking Ads Explored In Brief
In 1998, the US tobacco industry entered into an agreement with the US Government to fund the creative anti-smoking ads that you see sponsored by the American Legacy Foundation such as Truth.com. Other conditions included compensation for tobacco-related illnesses and care and discontinuation of tobacco marketing practices. It also dissolved a number of tobacco industry-sponsored groups.
Is the Sponsorship of Anti-Smoking Ads by Tobacco Companies Ineffective?
Under the MSA agreement, the tobacco industry is obligated to pay up to $300 million per year unless their control of the market dips below 99.05%. It did, but the rate still hovers in the 90th percentile. As a result, a support group for American Legacy Foundation was formed in 2004 called Citizens’ Commission to Protect the Truth.
Reports vary on whether anti smoking adverts have been effective. The Truth is reported to have some of the most effective results to this date. Teenage tobacco users dropped in the first two years of the debut of Truth anti-smoking ads by one million.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Truth has been the most effective anti-smoking campaign to this date. More children are able to recall the edgy ads led by youth activists and state that they made an impact on their decision not to smoke.
At the same time, The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has issued some controversial facts stating exactly the opposite. The report is staggering.
It cites several occasions where RJ Reynolds actively tried to thwart honest efforts towards state-backed anti-smoking initiatives, as well as particular instances where they lobbied against state legislation to increase the price of cigarettes. No surprise here. Especially since, most experts agree that the real war against tobacco resides in a crunch on the pocketbook.
Some of the Most Staggering Statistics about Anti-Smoking Ad Campaigns
One of the most comprehensive studies on smoking ads by the National Cancer Institute titled The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use concluded that anti smoking campaigns funded by tobacco industry are “generally ineffective”.
Most children couldn’t recall anti smoking youth campaigns.
The anti smoking campaigns geared towards adults was reported to increase youth’s interest in smoking.
Remember the Phillip Morris campaign “Think. Don’t Smoke.”? So do most of the children that saw it—and in a favorable light.
Several experts are of the opinion that the “Tobacco is Whacko” actually encouraged the rebellion of the youth population and drive more youth towards smoking.