American Legacy Cuts Super Bowl Ad Deal -- Promises Not to Offend Smokers

Anti-Smoking Ads Make Super Bowl Cut
by David Gianatasio
MediaWeek, Friday, 1/26/01

BOSTON -- The American Legacy Foundation, the anti-smoking group, plans to air two new ads on the Super Bowl XXXV TV broadcast. The spots, from Arnold Worldwide, are titled "Electrolarynx" and "46 Years Old" and are designed to remind viewers that tobacco industry claims notwithstanding, tobacco products are still addictive and deadly, the foundation said.

The commercials are not part of the familiar "Truth" campaign, a grim reminder about tobacco-related deaths, but seek to broaden the image of the Washington, D.C.-based anti-smoking organization.

"Electrolarynx" uses a former smoker speaking through an electronic device to underscore smokingís consequences. "46 Years Old," part of Arnold's earlier Massachusetts Department of Public Health campaign, stars Bay State resident Rick Stoddard, whose wife Marie died of complications from lung cancer at age 46.
Electrolarynx commercial

In addition, a full-page ad -- titled "Kills One-Third" -- is scheduled to debut Feb. 29 in national newspapers. In the form of a quiz, it puts readers in the shoes of an executive whose products kill one in three of its customers.

The foundation's Super Bowl negotiations took longer than expected because CBS was concerned that ad content -- "Truth" spots depicting black body bags generated considerable controversy -- could "offend" other advertisers, sources said, adding that CBS required assurances that the spots were appropriate for one of the largest TV events of the year, sources said. A CBS spokesman said he had no information about the negotiations.

"The effects of tobacco don't take a time out during the Super Bowl," said Dr. Cheryl Healton, president and CEO of American Legacy, in a news release. "It's important that we use every venue possible to let all adults know the real impact of smoking."

Arnold spots for and Volkswagen of America also are slated to air on the Jan. 28 Super Bowl XXXV telecast. The game is expected to attract 130 million viewers, and 30-second spots are drawing an estimated $2.3 million.

American Legacy was formed in Nov. 1998 following the settlement between 46 state attorneys general and major U.S. tobacco companies, which fund the nonprofit foundation dedicated to reducing tobacco use. Boston-based Arnold, teaming with Crispin Porter & Bogusky of Miami, were awarded the foundationís $150-225 million advertising ad account in September 1999 following a review.

[1] Grim Anti-Smoking Ads Product of Tobacco Suits
Two Somber Ads Air During Super Bowl

by Anita Srikameswaran
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tuesday, 1/30/01

Super Bowl fans often watch the commercials as closely as they follow the big game because they know that advertisers show off their best stuff in the expensive spots. Most involve sight gags, memorable mottos and cool special effects. But during the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, two bleak commercials with a somber message shook up the typical array of beer, car and e-company ads.

One showed Rick Stoddard talking about how his wife, Marie, died when she was 46 because she smoked cigarettes. As photographs of his wife flashed on the screen, Stoddard said he didn't realize that 23 was middle-aged. The commercial ends with the message "Cigarettes don't care. We do."

The other opened with headlines about the tobacco settlement agreement, while a synthesized voice said tobacco companies could no longer use billboards or cartoon characters as part of their marketing strategies. The scene shifted to a man in a hospital bed breathing through a respirator and speaking with an electronic voice box. He finishes by saying that tobacco companies have promised to change everything except "their deadly, addictive product."

The commercials were created by the American Legacy Foundation, a national public health organization based in Washington, D.C. Tobacco companies agreed to fund the foundation when several settlements of state lawsuits against the tobacco industry were negotiated in 1998.

Endowed with a total of $1.45 billion from the settlement proceeds, the foundation has sponsored anti-smoking advertising campaigns in Massachusetts and Florida. Some of those commercials, often described as edgy and unsettling, aired nationally last year, such as one in which teens pile up body bags outside the headquarters of Philip Morris Cos. Inc. to dramatically show the price of smoking.

The Super Bowl commercials were the first to run under the Legacy Foundation name. The one titled "46 Years Old" was part of a Massachusetts Department of Public Health Campaign. "Electrolarynx" debuted Sunday. Both commercials, produced by Arnold Worldwide of Boston, will be airing in the following weeks during news programs such as "60 Minutes," "Larry King Live" and "Face the Nation."<

Bill Godshall, executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, said the commercials are better suited to run with more serious televisions shows. "The Super Bowl is kind of a spirited, festive occasion and these were serious health ads talking about disease and death," he said. "They just didn't seem to fit there."

He noted that advertisers paid $2.3 million for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. Legacy Foundation spokesmen did not confirm how much they paid for their airtime. But even the big price tag could be relatively economical if the commercials raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. "If 130 million people watched [the game] -- assuming everybody saw the ads -- it comes to about 4 cents per person," Godshall said.

Counter-advertising campaigns, which challenge the marketing strategies of tobacco companies in broadcast and print media, have been effective in California and Massachusetts. In those states, "smoking rates have dropped by 35 percent in the last decade," Godshall said, adding that Florida health officials directed a campaign at youth after the tobacco settlement and "smoking rates among children dropped 25 percent in just two years."

He added that, on their own, the new commercials may have little impact, but could make a difference with repetition and if they are part of a broader campaign. The Legacy Foundation also placed a full-page ad in five national newspapers stating that instead of recalling their products, tobacco companies promised safer cigarettes, denied that there was proof that smoking causes cancer and used charitable contributions to improve their public image. The print ad will run for the next two weeks.

[2] American Legacy Foundation Completed Negotiations with CBS
source: David Gianatasio
Adweek Online
Thursday, January 25, 2001

BOSTON -- The American Legacy Foundation late Wednesday completed negotiations with CBS to place new advertising on the Super Bowl, said sources close to the situation.

American Legacy will not air the well-known "Truth" campaign that seeks to dissuade young people from smoking. Rather, the client intends to unveil a "corporate" campaign designed to educate Americans about the Foundation's various programs and its research and educational activities, sources said. William Furmanski, a spokesman for American Legacy in Washington, D.C. could not be reached by press time; a representative with Arnold Worldwide, Boston, which handles the American Legacy account, declined comment.

An official statement from the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation was expected to be released late Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Negotiations between the client and CBS had taken somewhat longer than expected because the network was especially concerned with ad content, as past efforts in the client's "Truth" campaign, some featuring body bag imagery, generated considerable controversy, sources said. CBS apparently required assurances that the client's "corporate" spots are appropriate for the mass Super Bowl audience, and would not "offend" network advertisers that also sell tobacco-related products, sources said. A CBS spokesman said he had no information about American Legacy running advertising on the Super Bowl telecast.

Arnold also has commercials for two other major clients, and Volkswagen of America, airing on the Jan. 28 Super Bowl XXXV telecast.

American Legacy was formed in Nov. 1998 following the Master Settlement Agreement between 46 state attorneys general and the major tobacco companies. Funded through that settlement, the nonprofit group is dedicated to reducing tobacco usage and promoting "smoke-free generations." Boston-based Arnold, teaming with Crispin Porter & Bogusky of Miami, added the client's $150-225 million advertising assignment in September 1999 following a review.

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