Tobacco Fight Begins

-Part of the American Legacy Foundation’s $150-225 million anti-tobacco campaign, the brazen, edgy creative that has worked in Florida, Massachusetts and California, will break next week on various cable networks.
A group of teenagers working with Arnold Communications in Boston and Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami, which won the account in September, are heavily influencing the campaign’s media buys and strategy, sources said.
The teens want the spots to air with little advance publicity on MTV, the WB Network and Fox, where shows like Dawson’s Creek are popular with the 12- to 17-year-olds ALF is targeting in its first round of ads.
Ads such as “Truth,” work Crispin did for Florida’s anti-smoking effort, are designed to make teenagers rebel against the tobacco industry. “The idea is to let kids know the industry is playing them for a sucker,” said one source.
By using Florida’s model, the ALF risks violating the Master Settlement Agreement between the states and Big Tobacco, which created the national anti-smoking effort.
A clause in the contract prohibits the use of ads that vilify the tobacco industry, but sources said the ALF believes it can push the issue.
ALF officials declined comment.
Agencies with anti-smoking experience said the ALF plan to foster teen rebellion made sense.
“You have to make sure the advertising doesn’t look, feel or smell like it is coming from authority,” said Bruce Dundore, creative director at Asher & Partners, Los Angeles, which competed for the account but lost to Arnold.
–with staff reports