Smokescreen
December 8, 2014 3:42 AM   Subscribe

 
Nothing new at all from what I see, except the Gladwell-esque terms ("connectors"). I had a few different friends doing this in predominantly Asian clubs in southern California in the 90s for booze.

Because, hey, free booze! They even got a friend of mine to do an unofficial song for a major cognac based on their brochures. It was hilarious, but sadly lost to time.
posted by lkc at 5:44 AM on December 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Marlboro has been circumventing tobacco advertising bans for decades. For instance, European rules now forbid tobacco advertising, including logos in sports like Formula 1, which Marlboro has been famously involved with, first with McLaren and later with Ferrari.

Marlboro has been able to deftly side-step the tobacco ban by removing the name "Marlboro" and simply use abstracted versions of their logo. It's been a quite deft bit of consumer re-education, where, over time, they have been taught that the graphic inhabiting the space where "Marlboro" once appeared still means "Marlboro, even though it's not words, letters or even the actual logo. It's sort of a logo-for-the-logo, even when it purports to be simply the team logo.

Marlboro did something similar back in the 80's, when it was McLaren's sponsor and tobacco advertising bans weren't as universal. Normally, the cars would sport a full-on Marlboro logo, except at races where the country had banned tobacco advertising, when the cars would sport a different graphic. Of course, in McLaren's case, where the overall paint scheme of the car itself is basically the sponsor's packaging design, they probably didn't have to put any extra graphics on in order to sell the brand.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:59 AM on December 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad, I was 8 or 9 when all the kids in my summer daycare got free Marlboro tote bags. Good quality tote bags too--I took mine to college.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:31 AM on December 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Marlboro: baggage you'll carry around for the rest of your life.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:13 AM on December 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Damnit! When I saw the illustration and read the intro paragraph about the animation student, I thought they were creating some wacky arts collective to manufacture popular art with brand symbology embeded in it ... Which would have been so rad.

Instead they are just doing the same thing any energy drink or alcohol company does everyday... Weak.

File this under "Country Creates Law Which It Cannot Not Enforce Because Its Beaurocracy Is Not Sophisticated Enough" and "Vice Company Hires Young Shiny People to Promote Its Product By Mingling With Their Peers"
posted by ethansr at 8:43 AM on December 8, 2014


Tomorrow will be one month since I quit cold turkey. I've noticed a new benefit almost every day so far. Today's benefit is that I'm no longer financially supporting these evil companies in their evil work.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:44 AM on December 8, 2014 [10 favorites]


It's too bad it took me almost 30 years of smoking to get to this point.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:45 AM on December 8, 2014


Nothing irks me more than blanket bans by states. While I loathe companies aggressively pushing addictive vices as much as the next person, there must be a more elegant solution than the intelligence insulting bans on logos or advertisement.

Is there no other governmental solution to this? I want to understand the relative cost-benefit analyses of blanket ban versus diverting all revenue from vices into education and addiction rehab. Adults being adults and companies being companies, has anything been achieved at all so far in any country by banning advertising?
posted by savitarka at 11:48 AM on December 8, 2014


Ok. So the new placements for killing the most Indians is American Philip Morris>Entire British Empire>French Nestle.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:55 PM on December 8, 2014


Adults being adults and companies being companies, has anything been achieved at all so far in any country by banning advertising?

I don't think tobacco advertising restrictions are mainly about adults at all.

I do have kind of similar mixed feelings about how they can't sell "light" cigarettes anymore and thus just go by package color. It's a pretty effective loophole, because everybody knows which are which, you can still ask for Marlboro Lights at the store and they know to give you the gold ones. But I don't think authorities could fairly ban selling tobacco in different blends/flavors so how do they close it? The real issue is the implication that "lights" are less harmful. I don't know if consumers still believe that - if putting it on the package doesn't convince them otherwise how do you do that? If they don't - for people I know (I don't actually smoke) it seems to be mostly taste preference at this point - then the whole thing is just a stupid charade.

I don't know, I feel like a contingent of anti-tobacco people have painted themselves into a corner in several ways. If you're really so worried about e-cigarettes being unregulated then fight for a strong regulatory framework already so people can safely access the substitute that they appear to actually want.
posted by atoxyl at 1:09 PM on December 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


has anything been achieved at all so far in any country by banning advertising?

Australia has been at the forefront of anti-smoking measures, and strongly bans advertising. Smoking rates have declined substantially.
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4125.0main+features3320Jan%202013
posted by bystander at 1:10 PM on December 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


BTW - Aussie smokes now all look the same, and are no longer marketed with a milligram rating of nicotine content (the 'mildness' score, effectively). It seriously clouds the purchase decision. I am an ex-smoker, but now have no idea which brands are which, and what the strong or weak lines are called.
Effectively, constant smokers can continue (along with higher prices/taxes) but it puts up increasing barriers to new smokers.
posted by bystander at 1:13 PM on December 8, 2014


Australia has been at the forefront of anti-smoking measures, and strongly bans advertising. Smoking rates have declined substantially.

I'm interested to see whether the decline in smoking rate diverges significantly from other countries with less restrictive anti-tobacco laws, such as the US.
posted by gyc at 2:09 PM on December 8, 2014


Very roughly, using bystander's link, and this for the US, for 2001-2011, it looks like the answer is yes, the decline in smoking rates is more significant in Australia.
posted by pompomtom at 4:41 PM on December 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Smoking rates have declined substantially.
Cold turkey for 534 days, 3 hours, 17 minutes. No, it's not hard at all, who's counting?
posted by unliteral at 7:19 PM on December 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


savitarka: "Nothing irks me more than blanket bans by states. While I loathe companies aggressively pushing addictive vices as much as the next person, there must be a more elegant solution than the intelligence insulting bans on logos or advertisement.

Is there no other governmental solution to this? I want to understand the relative cost-benefit analyses of blanket ban versus diverting all revenue from vices into education and addiction rehab. Adults being adults and companies being companies, has anything been achieved at all so far in any country by banning advertising?
"

Joe Camel wasn't targeted at adults.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:56 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


This does a better job of showing how Joe Camel glamorized smoking Camel cigarettes. I started smoking in 1987 when I was 16, the legal age for tobacco in Indiana at that time. The Joe Camel U.S. marketing campaign started in 1988. At the time, I thought Joe Camel was pretty cool. I permanently switched to Camel Lights in 1988. These factoids are not coincidental.

I was a member of the target demographic. According to the wikipedia article, Camel's share of the U.S. underage market rose from $6 million in 1998 to $476 million in 1992. It was an extremely effective marketing campaign.

RJ Reynolds did everything short of buying and lighting my first cigarette for me to make sure that I became a loyal Camel smoker. I feel like such a fool.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:28 AM on December 9, 2014


double block and bleed: from $6 million in 1998 to $476 million in 1992
Something is off in your numbers, but your point is valid.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:44 AM on December 10, 2014


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