Anti-smoking ads are really boring

Public Health

By Nicola Garrett

29 Nov 2017

The anti-smoking ad campaign that kicked off in the US this week is supposed to be a big apology from big tobacco, but is it?

The campaign was ordered by the US government just over a decade ago after the tobacco industry admitted to having deliberately misled the public over the dangers of smoking.

The tobacco companies – including Altria, R. J Reynolds Tobacco, Lorrilard and Philip Morris USA – appealed the wording of the ads multiple times until the language was finalised earlier this year.

But now that the ads have finally landed consumer behaviour experts allege that the ads don’t grab your attention, perhaps intentionally.

A professor of consumer psychology at Michigan State University told the US website that the print ads that have appeared in newspapers are what is known as “tombstone advertising” because they feature black text on a white background, devoid of all imagery.

— Sanjana Hattotuwa (@sanjanah) November 26, 2017

Whereas the TV ad narrator has been accused of sounding computer generated or manipulated.


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