Tobacco Advertising Essay

1160 words - 5 pages

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive… advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims… and advertisements cannot be unfair.” Also the FTC says that an advertisement is unfair if “it causes or is likely to cause substantial consumer injury which a consumer could not reasonably avoid; and it is not outweighed by the benefit to consumers.”
The website badvertising.com helps the naked eye read and see what should really be seen in advertisements by doctoring-up misleading ads to create a more accurate picture. To do this they physically cut and paste ads as well as manipulate them on the computer, in hope of changing your perceptions of the images every time you see a deceptive or misleading advertisement.
While many products and their advertisers are blatantly misleading the public with deliberately deceptive advertising, there is no more explicit example than the tobacco industry. Cigarette advertisers will never tell the truth and they can't because the truth is deadly to their consumer’s mindset as well as the health of the industry. So, instead of telling the truth to its consumers, they promise pleasure, fun, and social status. In addition, their so called “peaceful images” are not criticized because they are seen as non-provocative and non-offensive.
Television and movies since the 1920’s have been creating the illusion that smoking is an acceptable activity since everybody else is doing it. Children today, have no idea how or why they are getting the idea that smoking is cool. Without some kind of rude awakening, they will grow up to be addicted adults and could possibly develop various forms of deadly cancers along with emphysema. Eventhough tobacco advertising is not as prevalent due to recent regulations, the tobacco companies are simply side-stepping the laws. Their campaigns are simply becoming more cunning.
The first known tobacco advertisement in the Unites States was for the snuff and tobacco products of P. Lorillard and Company in the New York daily paper in 1789. The first real brand name to become known on a bigger scale in the USA was "Bull Durham" which emerged in 1868, with the advertising placing the emphasis on how easy it was "to roll your own". The Lorillard Company brought on a 2001 Supreme Court case when a ban on tobacco ads and sales of tobacco within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds was implemented. Lorillard argued that this was an infringement on their First Amendment rights, and that the regulation was more extensive than necessary. The U.S. Supreme Court applied the Central Hudson Test to the case in order to determine whether Massachusetts' ban on advertising and tobacco sales were in fact restricting the company's First Amendment rights. After failing The Central Hudson test, this regulation on tobacco advertising was found to be too broad, and Lorillard Tobacco Company won the case.
Before the 1970s, most tobacco advertising...

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