Anachronistic Truth Campaign Commercial Gets Blank Stare


Continuing its illogical idiocy, the Truth campaign has dredged up yet another decades old quote from a "tobacco company executive" who is now likely dead if not certainly retired. This executive, in response to a claim smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight said, "...some women would prefer smaller babies."

This is idiotic on so many levels. First, it's an anachronism from 1971. Times have changed and no human with a brain in their head would ever say that today. If this ad ran in 1971, it would make sense. Today, it's a complete disconnect. Attempting to slam a tobacco company for something someone said 37 years ago is just stupid. Second, maybe women did and still do want smaller babies. After all, who really wants to squeeze out a 15 pound fattie? Maybe the guy was repeating something he heard while drunk at a cocktail party and it was taken totally out of context.

Does any kid today really care what some old fart said before they were even born? While these ads try to make powerful statements using actual statements, they fall flat because the statements are from an entirely different era which has no relevance to a kid today who's considering smoking. Oh they make for nice ad concepts but all they do is elicit blanks stares sort of like the one on the girl in this very commercial. You can just hear her think, "What the fuck is he talking about?"

If Truth really wants to be relevant and create a powerful campaign that will resonate (oph how I hate that word) with today's youth, they'll have to become a lot more like PETA adopting that organization's investigative stealth.

by Steve Hall    May- 6-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Worst   

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It's great how your trying to defend the tobacco company. I hope you got your free carton of cigs for your post. Bottom line is big tobacco is still doing any and everything they can to get people to use there product, that will eventually cause there consumers to die. Providing people with insight on how they think about their consumers can only be a good thing whether it came from today or 30 years ago. Do you really think the people running those companies have changed? If they have it's only that they have became smarter at deceiving people.

Posted by: Desmond on May 6, 2008 2:07 PM

I don't smoke, never have, never will...and I agree with the Adrants team and will sum up what they are trying to say... These commercials suck and are annoying. The team behind the commercials may have good intentions but they need to get their facts lined up for today's target audience and should consider alternate creative ways to promote good health.

Posted by: Patrick on May 6, 2008 2:14 PM

dude, I so confused. Your "rant" is completely unfounded. What was said about cigarettes a decade ago is still true today. That is the point. I have to agree with Desmond in that I can't believe you appear to be defending "big tobacco." I think the point is that babies are fucked by cigarettes-that's a fact. So, if your gonna smoke, don't have a baby. And if you decide to have a baby anyway, then realize when your baby comes out all small and feeble and unhealthy, it was your own dumb-ass fault.

I could have done without the animated bird though.

Posted by: BT on May 6, 2008 2:19 PM

Clearly both BT and Desmond have not been reading Adrants for a very long time. I in no way support tobacco companies and their despicable efforts to get people to smoke. You've missed the point completely. I am criticizing the logic used by Truth to make their argument. That's all.

Posted by: Steve Hall on May 6, 2008 2:26 PM

In which case, I agree with you. The commercial sucks. There are more current issues one could attack on the issues of tobacco. It is pretty much the worst TRUTH spot I've ever seen. Who produced this one?

Posted by: BT on May 6, 2008 2:36 PM

Cosmetics companies used to use lead, mercury and rat poison in women's makeup, blinding and killing them throughout the 1930s. I'm sure their initial discussions weren't "let's shut the business down" (or even, "let's make the product safer"), but "how can we spin this?"

Eventually, the govt. stepped in and regulated, just like they've done with tobacco. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or a lung.

Posted by: Scott on May 6, 2008 2:49 PM

I have a few comments:

1) I'm glad to see i'm not the only one who hates the truth ads. Last i checked tabacco is Legal.

2) Babies are not "f#$!ed buy cigarettes" - they are screwed by their dumb owners who unfortunately have Free Will and CHOOSE (yes, a poor choice) to smoke while pregnant.

3) Though AdRants is clearly not defending tobacco, i think someone should. Why should a company be responsible for someone's PERSONAL responsibility?

4) And, if you are going to argue that the baby isn't given the choice well you'd be right. You don't get to choose your parents because life just isn't fair. If you want, i'd be happy to support taking babies away from parents who choose to smoke while pregnant but i'm sure you'll find that smoking is likely the least of the problems among that set.

Posted by: Patrick Bateman on May 6, 2008 4:13 PM

BT. This was done by Arnold and CPB.

Posted by: Steve Hall on May 6, 2008 4:58 PM

1. Yes, the commercial is stupid and overproduced.

2. Yes, your post comes across (intentionally or not) as defending tobacco companies.

3. Patrick is clearly both (a) a drug addict (nicotine) and (b) an idiot. Smoking's not remotely "Legal" for those to whom the ads are targeted! Your subtle emphasis on "CHOOSING to smoke WHILE pregnant" does nothing to hide your agenda, one in which it's magically okay to fill a house with carcinogenic clouds as soon as the baby is born, and one in which drug addicts choose, out of the blue, each and every day with complete free will, to take the next hit.

-- B

Posted by: B on May 7, 2008 12:00 PM

Steve, you're saying there argument is bad because they use a quote thats 30 years old. Meanwhile you include "Second, maybe women did and still do want smaller babies. After all, who really wants to squeeze out a 15 pound fattie?" as part of your argument. Are you stupid? The average baby weight is about 8 pounds. At least the truth campaign is using an actual fact unlike your 15 pound theory. You tried using two arguments. The first was saying that no human with a brain today say maybe women would want smaller babies...but then i guess you're a human with a brain because you then said maybe women actually want smaller babies. You're argument is a joke.

Posted by: John on May 12, 2008 12:33 PM

You missed my point, John. I know the average baby weight is 8 pounds. I was exaggerating in that maybe women smoked/smoke because they don't want to run the chance of having an overweight a 15 pound fattie instead of a normal 8 pounder.

And, because of the politically correct world we live in, my point was no one,today, would publicly *say* a woman smoked so that she would have a smaller baby (if that was even true). That doesn't mean women might still want smaller babies.

Posted by: Steve Hall on May 12, 2008 1:31 PM

I absolutely hate smoking.

And I absolutely hate the "truth" ad campaign.

My biggest problem with it is simply that they call their efforts "truth," but everything they do and say is dishonest in one way or another. This ad is a great example: the quote the ad is about has no relevance today of any king.

Back in 2000, I wrote to the people at "Your site is quite annoying. Maybe it is just me, maybe I am just unable to find the info that should be on the site, but I cannot find, for example, the basis for the claim that 1200 people die in America, per day, because of tobacco. I hate smoking; I am not trying to defend anyone. But it is irresponsible to claim truth and not fully back it up if possible. Don't just give me a link to other sites that may or may not have the information. When you make a claim, say exactly where you got it, with a link to complete information about how you arrived at that number. Anything less is not the truth, it is just another kind of lie."

They responded: "We get our info from respected news sources and organizations like the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Cancer Society. We review all our info and make sure it applies so you can have the facts you need to make an educated decision. Thanks for visiting and have a great day!"

This is not the response of people interested in truth. It's a response of people who don't give a damn about truth, but only care about pushing their own agenda regardless of truth. And in the intervening eight years, nothing has changed. I have NEVER seen an ad from these people that wasn't inherently deceptive, which makes them no different from many other groups, except that their chosen name "the truth" makes it worse.

And they still tell the same tale today: "Today, in the U.S., tobacco products will kill about 1,200 people.".

And for what it's worth, 1200-per-day IS a lie. The CDC continues to tell it, but their own footnotes tell us that they do not factor out most other possible causes of the diseases they claim were caused by smoking: they drum up age- and sex-based models, and then assume that if you're a smoker and have a certain disease and fall down on one side of the model, that your death must have been smoking-related.

What they should be saying is that there could be AS MANY AS 1,200 dying per day because of smoking-related illnesses. Saying that it is the actual number of deaths caused by smoking, instead of an upper bounds estimate, is lying. Of course, the "truth" is just parrotting the CDC, but the point here is that of course they WOULD: the stat says what they want it to say, so they'll repeat it, and damn the truthful truth. Their fake truth is good enough, because smoking is bad, mmmmkay?

Posted by: pudge on May 28, 2008 2:11 AM

This lame piece of crap is a great example of a lost generation of spoiled brats with no direction. Their heads have been filled derogatory terms such as "Big Tobacco" which is meant to direct anger toward legal businesses such as tobacco and oil. The truth be known, "Big Government" profits more from these products than the hard working folks who actually provide the expense and labor needed to get these legal products to the people who enjoy them.
I'm sure the ignorant kids who were "used" in this propaganda piece had good intentions, but they would be better served if they petitioned "Big Government" to outlaw the product. Then the Democrat controlled Congress can show us how serious they are about our health, by sacrificing their golden goose for the health of the nation
The blank stare says it all.

Posted by: JAMES W on May 31, 2008 12:11 PM

Does anybody really think that this ad has anything to do with some anti-smoking campaign? This is just another attempt to whip up anger against the tobacco companies, so that nobody will complain when the govt. raises their taxes again. So while you think we're sticking it to Big Tobacco, they pass the cost to the consumer, and my household ends up paying $4000.00 annually, instead of the 1000.00 we were paying. Another poor mans tax slapped on the blind masses, passed off as a "Stop Smoking" campaign. Ahh, the media and the govt. working together again.

Posted by: Linda L. on August 15, 2008 12:05 AM

Tobacco companies are a BUSINESS. They are out to MAKE MONEY, just like any other business. People CHOOSE to start smoking. People CHOOSE to continue smoking. I emailed the Truth agency about my interest in doing research saying that smoking is more likely an anxiety disorder subtle self-injurious behavior and second hand smoke research is BS, but they replied back with misspelled words and incorrect grammar; basically letting me know that the agency is full of morons.

Posted by: Rorison Meadows on January 16, 2009 5:07 PM