Ad 31

Date of first publication: 
Isn't big business creative?
Isn’t Big Business creative? “Smoking is being positioned as an unfashionable, as well as unhealthy, custom. We must use every creative means at our disposal to reverse this destructive trend. I do feel heartened at the increasing number of occasions when I go to a movie and see a pack of cigarettes in the hands of the leading lady. This is in sharp contrast to the state of affairs just a few years ago when cigarettes rarely showed up on camera. We must continue to exploit new opportunities to get cigarettes on screen...” — Philip Morris, Talking to Itself, 1980s (1) “I would like to emphasize our belief that the ability of the artist to portray smoking in a film or any other media is an important right deserving of protection from unwarranted regulation. Government intrusion into artistic decisions which determine whether or how smoking or any other lifestyle activity is to be portrayed is extremely dangerous.” — Philip Morris, Talking to Congress, 1980s (2) How times change... Now, tobacco companies say filmmakers use their brands without permission. Studios claim the smoking in their films is beyond their control. Fewer people today call tobacco product placement an “artistic decision.” U.S. tobacco companies are legally bound not to “pay for, license or expressly authorize” brand placement. Also, there’s conclusive evidence that exposure to generic smoking on screen is a major recruiter of new adolescent smokers. And youth-rated films, not R-rated ones, deliver the most tobacco impressions. What hasn’t changed? Hollywood still delivers hundreds of thousands of new young smokers to the tobacco industry each year. And Big Business is still extremely creative. If only it were looking for solutions. Instead of excuses.
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