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It's almost literally true that the consumer smokes both the cigarette and the advertising which induced him to buy a pack. That statement by Leonard Dov in his book Public opinion propaganda may be an exaggeration but there is little doubt that the tremendous growth of the cigarette industry has resulted largely from advertising. I'm Dr. Al grinder professor of health education in San Diego State College and this is one of a series of programs on the smoking dilemma. In the next few minutes we'll explore some of the issues involving advertising cigarette smoking. Our guest today is Mr. Emerson but a truly distinguished successful advertiser and worker in the field of public service. 1064 Mr. Foote ship the American business scene when he resigned as president for one of the world's largest advertising agencies. He resigned because he felt he could no longer protests abate him from owning a product which had been proven so deadly that the foot could you tell us more about your decision in 1064. Well the doctor draw under I simply felt that some advertising man someone who was familiar with
the propagandizing going on to support the sale of cigarettes to take a position on the subject on the other side because of the health issue of the public factors involved. I never felt that I was any if I may say so more or less ethical than the next advertising man but rather I've been probably exposed to more information about cigarettes as a longtime member of the American Cancer Society's board and as of member of President Johnson's commission I have heart disease cancer and stroke. I wanted to become chairman of the National Interagency Council on Smoking and Health which had been off of me and I couldn't very well do that while working for a company which sold cigarettes around the world. Recently you've taken a very strong stand supporting the banning of cigarette advertising on television and radio. Could you detail your position on this. Well Dr. Braun Dr. But this one to a fee for style so I if I may offer that that way one television advertising encourages people to
smoke cigarettes. Two cigarettes kill people in large numbers. Three it is not morally justifiable to encourage people to kill themselves or their for cigarette advertising on television should be banned that are to be made more clear than that. Some argue that such a ban would represent a dangerous government interference free trade. But your reaction to that. Well I don't think it does at all. Dr. Brawley under There are various products of the dangerous nature of which are dead and not only in advertising but in sales such things as heroin various derivatives of morphine. I think this is a case where the public interest must be paramount. There is no other product like cigarettes nothing else which is in a normal sale where so many lives are sacrificed each year. The death toll was around 300000 people per year in this country. And I think when you get to that level you have to take steps and not worry about free
trade because it's the exception that proves the rule. But people say why pick on the airwaves radio and television. What's so special about these media. The problem is that duct crawl under that the teenagers are taking up smoking as they ride along the way they always have been about four or 5000 every day and it's the young it's young America which is the business around it by advertising in the electronic media on television and radio. It's because the average a teenager watches for close to eight shows a week sponsored by cigarette advertisers and it's there in immersion you might say. And the iconic advertising it makes it seem to me is about and you feel that cigarette advertising is indeed that effective in encouraging smoking I think it is there I think it just created the milieu in which it becomes the fashionable smart inveighing to do. What are some of the more effective appeals using cigarette ads I think most of us are aware that
some of you know the nice delicate scene we see of men and women and gays while smoking. What are some of the things that that you are aware of that are especially effective that are used to get people through smoking to maintain the good image of smoking. Well I think the sylvan scenes you referred to I won't mention any particular brand not to give them a plug here but that they have that track to looking young girl and a good looking young man traveling through the woods with the birds twittering in the background this makes it seem like a very happy situation. Rather I would say though it's the totality of cigarette advertising has an effect. Cigarette advertising on television consistent they portray cigarettes fucking as a pleasant normal and certainly not a healthy thing to do. This pro-smoking propaganda can be very persuasive indeed. Cigarette smoking is continuously associated through advertising with persons
activities places and things like that to be admired respected or emulated if I may go on for a moment on this. As to Federal Trade Commission put it in its report to Congress outdoor activity of an athletic nature engaged in by you will press the military models serves as a positive backdrop to many cigarette writers. This activity also suggests that the smoking depicted in the work not conducive to rousing the good health is certainly not incompatible with. Has the advertising industry changed its view of what cigarette advertising does in recent years I understand that there has been some sort of change here. Oh yes I think it has very much back to growing by and people began talking about banning cigarette advertising and putting a requiring a strong health warning at the cigarette industry suddenly comes online and says all but the advertising cigarettes doesn't face the sale of cigarettes it only helps to change
my smoker from one brand to another. Now before the health issue was raised and the possibility came up of there being some curbs on cigarette advertising industry spokesman were very almost braggadocio about what they had achieved in building the red cigarette industry through advertising how they diverted people at the early age to be consumers of cigarettes how they change their behavior. And it was advertising it really built this if this was a matter of great pride and then went out when they had around 1954 when the health factors began coming out about cigarettes by just this strong stand began to be soft that all of a sudden say that advertising was rather an innocuous thing. It didn't have too much of. Down the pub again recently on television shows I've noticed that the stars are seen more and more I wish cigarettes in their hands. I wonder if it's the fact that these people are actually smokers that are more comfortable with a cigarette in your hand
or whether the cigarette advertising forces encourage just subtly are directly this form of advertising. I would say duck to crawl under the face absolutely no doubt that the cigarette industry which I have characterized as a very resourceful bunch of operators uses every resource it can to get cigarettes for trade on television and in motion pictures also by people who may like them or may not like them but they say it's also felt by the broadcasters I believe that they are sort of catering to large customers. And as we discussed the last day or two the amount of television advertising is around 200 million dollars a year and broadcasts I think are invited to quite a lot of customers. So not cigarette advertising were banned would we not expect this subtle form of advertising to continue with this not I think the effort would continue but I
think it would be much less successful because all of a sudden the cigarette industry would change from a 200 million dollar cost of a dyno customer a top and I think the broadcast industry would be would have its guard up if not doing things which would offend the public and which would EVER they would otherwise they would be not they would have no reason to cater to a non Customer shall we say. There would be no power no TV no no power in the broadcasting queue with our current theories about the industry being responsible. Developed and implemented own code continue to do so. How they feel about that. Well I think it's really a joke. They have it as you go. The cigarette industry put itself under this code beginning January 1st 1965 and adds to flurry of pious protestations about the fact that it wasn't the industry's wish to appeal to young people about one of their main lines whether they
were going to have any advertising directed primarily the first time to buy one. But as we've previously been discussing a higher proportion of teenagers than adults is still exposed to cigarette advertising. I think that the code both of the advertisers and the cigarette people and of the broadcasting industry money where public relations gestures designed to take some of the heat off the industry and to placate the public. Recently the FCC ruled that the Fairness Doctrine of fired through the controversial cigarette issue and that anti-smoking forces were to be given reasonable time to represent their case. What's your reaction to that. Well it's a strange thing my first reaction when I heard about this was that it wasn't it wasn't fair to the other divisive people and then I was rethinking it I got to wondering why was I worrying about you might say a Marquess of Queensberry. It was when these people take advantage of every conceivable opportunity
by fair means or otherwise to provoke their their products so it is my feeling now my very strong feeling that we should regard this as a great break which has only been made possible because the FCC has brought us to great health danger with cigarettes and I think that we should use every single surviving outfit we can add to this cause and I hope it stands up in the courts. What about the inclusion of health warnings within cigarette advertising and and Senator Robert Kennedy and his legislation which would require this. Yes as Senator Kennedy introduced a bill in the Senate on September 12 of this here which would require a warning advertising which goes like this warning cigarette smoking is dangerous to health and may cause death from cancer or other diseases. What effect would this have if first of all is there a chance that might go through. Not at night at this present time.
They haven't even been any any committee hearing scheduled on it but it might go through in a couple of years if it dead. I think it would have a rather remarkable effect. Well some say the effect could be devastating to advertising and cigarette industry though this represents substantial economic entity in the culture. This would wreck a very important industry. You mean by putting a warning in the appetite by putting wind warnings in ads or in banning advertising. Well I don't think it would wreck the industry. I think it I hope it would bring about a reduction in sales of cigarettes. But I think that if it did wreck the industry that this is something that is like just one of those cases where you have to put first things first. Certainly the health and welfare of the American people is more important than the health and welfare of any particular industry. The cigarette industry even at the
most optimistic evaluation of its total business value is only a little over one percent of the total U.S. gross national product. And we can't have the tail wagging the dog or the tail killing the dog. You say things to me we've outlined this problem pretty clearly boils down to economic power versus the public health. Yes I think it does. And I've often said I'm strongly believe as you know there will be 300000 votes here you have a death from the effects of cigarette smoking about every two minutes for some of us but we're saying that the public health is losing them. I think it is certainly no business no tax source and possibly be worth a human sacrifice every two minutes. Thank you very much Mr. Foote for being with us today.
You have been listening to the smoking dilemma. Today's discussion dealt with consumer advertising and tobacco products. Your program host was Dr. Ralph grounder professor of health education at San Diego State College is guest advertising expert Emerson Foote is currently serving on the Surgeon General's task force on cigarette advertising. This program was produced by Katy vs FM at the Radio Television Center at San Diego State College. This is the national educational radio network.
The smoking dilemma
Advertising and Smoking
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San Diego State University
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3735. This prog.: Advertising and Smoking. Emerson Foote, member, Surgeon General's Task Force on Smoking and Health
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Producing Organization: KEBS
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Chicago: “The smoking dilemma; Advertising and Smoking,” 1968-05-24, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 8, 2023,
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APA: The smoking dilemma; Advertising and Smoking. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from