Anti-tobacco group releases third round of television, radio ads
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Tobacco Control Board debuted its third round of anti-tobacco ads Monday, a series of television and radio spots that claim the industry has misrepresented the dangers of using tobacco.
One TV spot shows a former cigarette model who had her larynx removed. Another features Patrick Reynolds, grandson of R.J. Reynolds, who tells viewers that cigarette companies don't print the contents of cigarettes on the packages because they don't want smokers to know what they're inhaling.
Bill Elliott, dean of the Marquette University communications college and member of the tobacco board, said advertisers are allowed some excess in their advertisements, often called puffery. But he said the tobacco industry's claims that the cartoon character Joe Camel was not developed for kids are ludicrous.
"That's not puffery. That's a lie, and they've done that constantly,'' he said.
Several calls to tobacco industry spokesmen were not immediately returned Monday.
The third round of ads are directed at young people, who the board says tobacco companies often target in their advertisements. The ads will run over the next few months.
The 22-member Wisconsin Tobacco Control Board distributes and manages the $5.9 billion the state is to receive over the next 25 years as part of a 1998 settlement it and 45 other states reached with the tobacco industry.
The Legislature allocated $23.5 million of that money in the current budget for an anti-tobacco initiative.
About $6.5 million of that is being spent on the ad campaign. A fourth round of ads aimed at minority communities is slated to run this fall, said David Gundersen, executive director of the Tobacco Control Board.