In the lousy advertising climate of the past couple of years, cellular phones were conspicuous as a growth category. So, gloomy souls of the 'what else can go wrong' school of thought will not be surprised by recent reports (vigorously denied by cell-phone companies) that the technology can cause tumors and other health problems. Actually, the negative reports could be a short-term boon for some agencies if cell-phone clients feel obliged to run ads assuring us their products won't kill us. But the long-term threat to the category's image is that many people will be eager to believe the worst. The truth is, the cellular phone is one of the more widely disliked inventions of recent years, and detractors will take glee in the notion that it might be killing off the self-important people who insist on chatting away while sitting in restaurants, driving their cars or strolling down the block.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)