September 22, 2000
11:28 AM   Subscribe

Remember those PSA's the tobacco companies said violated their agreement with the federal government? Well, they're back, and harsher than ever

I saw the body bag commercial last night at 3 am . . . when all PSA are played.
posted by alana (7 comments total)
Hmn, I think I saw the body bag one during olympic coverage....but maybe it was after the olympics ended and Cleopatra 2525 came on...and I just couldn't turn away....
posted by eckeric at 11:46 AM on September 22, 2000

I've seen the body bag one quite a bit recently, perhaps within the past month or so. has been playing ads all summer, though none were quite so striking as the body bags one.

There're actually two body bags commercials I've seen -- one with them stacking the body bags outside of the office building in some random downtown area, and one where they're in a western-type landscape and are setting horses free with body bags tied to their backs in a play on the Marlboro ads.

Quite effective, actually... other thetruth ads I recall include the one where they drive around in a van at nighttime and blare their loudspeaker out at tobacco company CEO's houses, shouting things at them.
posted by evixir at 11:52 AM on September 22, 2000

i've seen the bodybag a few times, it's fabulous... they make it look like an agit-prop hit on a corporation. the funny part, and i preface this with "i'm a smoker", is the tobacco companies, guilty of lying for years, angry at an effective marketing campaign that actually does tell the truth (forgive the obvious pun)
posted by bliss322 at 11:53 AM on September 22, 2000

Eh. If I were a teen, I'd start smoking, just to tweak these sanctimonious bluenoses. In any case, it's not working: according to the CDC, smoking by HS seniors rose every year between 91 and 99 - from 12.7% in 1991 to 16.8% in 1999. And it's up in the 18-25 group, too: 34% in 94, 41% in '99.

I smoked for almost 20 years - taking time out for meals and sleep, of course - and I neither started, nor quit, nor switched brands according to any ad; I never wanted to quit because of a PSA, because it didn't tell me anything I didn't know before I started.

In any case, there's plenty of mendacity to go around: my state, Minnesota, sued to recoup the cost of treating sick smokers, even though the state sucked up millions in tax revenue on cigs for decades. Then, after they'd extracted several hundred billion in a ridiculous trial, did they give the money back to the taxpayer who'd been forced to shoulder this awful burden? No. They gave millions to foundations to make oh-so-hip, state-sponsored "guerilla" ads for bus shelters.

The state's ads about Big Tobacco Lies, incidentally, rotate with ads for the State Lottery. Apparently I can win millions just by playing.
posted by lileks at 12:45 PM on September 22, 2000

"to recoup the cost of treating sick smokers"
This has always bugged me. Nobody should be paying to treat sick smokers, except the smokers themselves. I don't care if someone smokes, and I don't care if they live a nice long life, and I don't care if they die horribly, spitting up cancerous chunks of flesh in their bathtub.

People should be allowed to choose their vices, and they should suffer the consequences of those choices.
posted by aramaic at 1:02 PM on September 22, 2000

I don't smoke. Never have and probably never will. Although whenever I see one of those irritating Truth advertisements with some snot nosed little bastard I feel like going out and buying a pack just for spite.

Everytime I see one of them shove thier greasy little faces into the camera and say, "Big TOE-Back-O" I feel like kicking the TV screen in.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 2:28 PM on September 22, 2000

I did not see this thread, and already posted my only smoking related link there. My wife just posted the following:
Johnny, (She calls me Johnny) we just got a check in
the mail from the Illinois state treasurer. He says it's a property tax
rebate check paid from the proceeds of the nationwide tobacco
settlement. It's $105; says there's maximum of $300.

I don't smoke, and obviously I will keep the money, but it seems to me the money should go to the smokers. They have been paying their way all this time with huge taxes on cigarettes. How much has the state had to pay anyway, I think the insurance companies have taken a harder hit than any local government.
I totally agree with those trashing the spots. The day i'm convinced that any of those faux hipster prudes even know where to borrow a clue from, much less are saying things I should be paying attention to, is the day I buy saltwater at the beach.
posted by thirteen at 3:00 PM on September 22, 2000

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