American Legacy Takes Out the ‘Trash’

BOSTON Never one to back down from disturbing images, the American Legacy Foundation courts controversy once again in its latest TV work that uses a CSI-style visual approach and trash cans full of body parts to rail against the evils of smoking.

As an urban music track plays, we see trash cans on the streets of various New York locations. They are filled to overflowing and waiting for the next garbage pickup. One of the things they are filled with: body parts—a foot or an arm—sticking out of the cans.

Intercut with this are reaction shots of people walking by with horrified looks on their faces.

On-screen text reads, “Every month, tobacco kills more people than there are trash cans in NYC.”

Havas’ Arnold in Boston and MDC Partners’ Crisipin Porter + Bogusky in Miami handle the bulk of Legacy’s national anti-smoking efforts, and the pair worked on this latest iteration. (Omnicom’s GSDM in Austin, Texas, is also on the roster.)

The client’s ads usually carry some variation of the “Truth” tagline, and Legacy spends about $30 million annually on ads, including $25 million through the first three quarters of 2006, per TNS Media Intelligence.