Blumenthal Letter on AdAge's Allegation on Legacy Ads

[Text provided by Stan Glantz; it is unknown if this letter was printed in AdAge--gb]


March 18, 2004

To the Editor:

In a March 16 article, you report that I have offered, or offered to discuss, reigning in[sic] tough anti-smoking ad content in return for continued industry funding of those ads. That report is not correct. While I am generally willing to speak to those who disagree with me, I did not say that I would -- and in fact I would not -- consider limiting or reining in tough effective anti-smoking ads in any way.

The American Legacy Foundation truth®advertising campaign, funded by mandated payments from tobacco manufacturers in accordance with the tobacco litigation Master Settlement Agreement has been so effective in discouraging smoking by children that it has become the target of unfounded attacks by the tobacco manufacturers. Everyone, including the readers of this publication and all of the tobacco industry, understands perfectly well that these edgyads are effective with young people precisely because they are edgy. I will not consider any agreement to replace strong effective anti-tobacco ads with boring ineffectual ones.

Big Tobacco understands this core fact of its business: if you dont addict your customers while theyre children, you wont have customers. Your product kills your customers when theyre adults. Naturally, the industry is opposed to ads that tell the truth effectively, but I will never accede to limitations on telling the truth.