While yesterday, Redd tried to get you to save your life (and social life) by telling you about the five superficial reasons to quit smoking, a controversial anti-smoking ad in France is causing quite the uproar, with the three ads that compare smoking to giving someone head. Roughly, the caption on the ads translates into English saying “Smoking means being a slave to tobacco,” as the teenagers portrayed in the ads are in a submissive “blowjob” position. Normally France, and Europe in general, is pretty liberal with their ads but I can understand why they aren’t reacting well to this one. I don’t even think it’s effective. Since when do teenagers consider sex a bad thing? Why wouldn’t they want to do something that is likened to blowjob? All the ad makes me think about is that it’s showing a teenager in sexually suggestive position with an adult – and that makes me think less “a bitch to cigarette companies” and more “sex with a minor.”
If you want to liken smoking to slavery, then show an image of slavery. Don’t show sex with a minor – that’s a whole other can of worms! Remi Parola, who is the head of the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association that is behind the campaign told ABC News: “We noticed that the traditional anti-smoking campaigns no longer got across amongst the youth. We thus had to use another way in order to raise awareness. We were surprised by the extent of the media buzz…But it’s above all a message of public health that got across.”
Really? Did it get across? I would imagine kids are having a field day making fun of these ads and putting cigarettes in their fly zippers, and really not thinking any more though about the health implications of smoking. They should have focused on that.
A spokesman for the British American Tobacco in France, spoke to ABC News and said: “To be compared to a pedophile because I work for a tobacco manufacturer is extremely shocking.” I agree. Sure smoking is bad, but I think it’s wrong to make any sort of comparison to pedophilia.