Six Movie Studios Agree to Anti-Smoking Ads in DVDs

By Matt Van Hoven 

The Wall Street Journal reports that six major movie studios have agreed to place anti-smoking spots in all new youth-oriented DVD releases that feature smoking. By “feature”, I mean “depict.”

You’ve probably seen the print-work on this subject in the last year or so. The six studios include Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney, and Twentieth Century Fox.

According to a UCSF study, movies that show smoking account for 52 percent “of adolescents who start smoking.”

Thanks to 5 Blogs Before Lunch for sharing this one.

Question: If perception is reality and advertising reflects reality, does that mean perception = advertising? In other words, if cigarette production continues and people keep smoking, how can the movie industry rationalize removing the habit from films? It’s hypocritical and removes a certain aspect of truth from cultural entertainment. The message seems to be, “Don’t smoke, but enjoy this film in which smoking takes place, but it shouldn’t…but since it does we wanted to show you…seriously though, don’t smoke…enjoy the movie,” and back and forth it goes.

We’re all guilty of wanting to be like the characters we see in films, so how can youth be expected to understand which things are acceptable to mimic and which aren’t? Saying no will never be cool, and like my previous post, advertising doesn’t stand a chance against the perception of cool. As Parker would say, it’s effed.