Legacy Gains Focus

A voyeuristic foray into the bedrooms of teenagers shown responding to letters from smokers is featured in the latest ads from the American Legacy Foundation.
The “Web Letters” campaign, crafted by Arnold Communications, Boston, and Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, is designed to drive more traffic to the client’s Web site, said Arnold creative director Pete Favat. The site, www.thetruth.com, has received a number of letters from smokers complaining that they have rights too. Legacy spokesman William Furmanski said the spots are directed against tobacco use, not smokers.
Negative reaction from the major networks toward the effort’s previous, edgy creative prompted Legacy to focus this round of creative on its Web site. “Our plan is to take thetruth.com and turn it into our own little TV station where kids can go,” Favat said. More than 1 million people have visited the Web site since it launched in February, and 1,500 have registered comments.
“I cannot believe people blame cigarette companies for teens smoking,” one letter says. In the ad, “Clay,” a teen volunteer for the Truth campaign, responds: “Over 80 percent of Big Tobacco’s customers started when they were teenagers. A pretty big coincidence.” Web cameras are placed in bedrooms, a tactic that resembles the approach taken by Jennifer Ringley, who designed a popular Web site called JenniCAM.
Arnold copywriter Annie Finnegan and art director Robert Hamilton worked with the teens on the campaign.
Sources said NBC has objected to one ad where a tobacco industry executive is quoted saying: “If kids don’t like second hand smoke they can get up and leave the room and if you are a baby, you can learn how to crawl.” NBC declined comment. K