Ad Spot

Offensive to older adults

By Staff
Jan. 14, 2001
Nothing gets the creative juices flowing faster at an advertising agency than the opportunity to develop a highly visible project and the promise of a huge paycheck. But a Jackson advertising agency working for Attorney General Mike Moore's $20 million anti-tobacco campaign has managed to break the law of unintended consequences:
In trying to persuade teenagers to eschew the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products, it created television commercials that are offending older adults.
Lecherous' smile
With lines such as "You wouldn't want their social life, so why do you want their lungs?" one commercial is set in what appears to be a senior citizens home where a boring game of bingo is in progress. A young black female sits among the older people, one of whom a white male sprays his mouth with breath freshener, moves closer to her and gives her a lecherous smile. It's a little eerie.
While well-intended, this series of commercials is off on the wrong track and if the heat is raised much higher, they'll be off the air  no matter how successful they are at discouraging teens from smoking.
The lucrative ad contract was awarded to Maris West and Baker last year and spots hit the airwaves last October.
Offensive
Any public service ad campaign which offends such a powerful, active segment of the population older adults vote in larger numbers than any other demographic group will likely be challenged. Or someone will pay a political penalty.
Senior citizens are the unintended target of this campaign and portrayal of them as unhealthy, dull and unattractive people is just plain wrong.
For $20 million, the ad agency can do better.

News

BTCPA stages ‘Bad Year for Tomatoes’

Franklin County

County takes needed steps to continue broadband expansion

News

Russellville High School holds Community Partnership Breakfast to connect with community

News

Sign up now for youth rec sports through March 1

News

Russellville club names Bob Seeley Civitan of Year

Franklin County

New year brings official end to concealed carry permit requirement

Franklin County

Schools recognize Franklin County Board of Education

Columnists

Book Lovers Study Club submits 2022 reports

News

RHS alum receives Keller Key at UNA

Franklin County

Cattlemen convene for annual banquet

Belgreen Bulldogs

Belgreen hires football coach for fledgling program

News

City approves temporary fire department promotions

Franklin County

Commission decides to request bids for elevator maintenance

News

Whimsical window art brightens RPL

Belgreen Bulldogs

Belgreen gets football coach

Franklin County

Martin Luther King commemorative march takes place in downtown Russellville

Franklin County

New district attorney swears in

Franklin County

Cattlemen’s Association prepares for annual meeting

News

Russellville Public Library director speaks at Book Lovers meeting

Franklin County

Vina native returns to hometown church to share her story

Franklin County

Couple continues annual Christmas jail ministry

News

City officials reflect on old year, look toward new

Franklin County

MLK march returns to Russellville this year, set for Jan. 16

News

Council approves additional funding for Cramer Children’s Center

x