FDA Targets Tobacconists, Kids




Richards Makes Semifinals of U.S. Anti-Smoking Competition
BOSTON–Arnold Communications’ latest tobacco compliance campaign for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration broke last week, just as the Boston agency prepares for the next phase of the $150-225 million national anti-smoking competition.
The monthlong, $5 million FDA blitz is breaking in five states and 11 additional media markets to help generate greater compliance with federal regulations that make the sale of tobacco illegal to minors. Ads continue the theme, “Selling cigarettes to children is illegal. For a reason.”
Both retailers and consumers are targeted. A newspaper ad asks: “What would make you madder? A retailer selling cigarettes to a kid who’s a.) 9, b.) 14, or c.) yours?”
A radio spot features a mock game show in which the host says that one of every three smokers will die from the habit, then picks which of his three young contestants will suffer this fate. TV ads are being tested and will likely air in September, said Arnold senior vice president Barbara Reilly.
Print, broadcast and outdoor break statewide this week in New Hampshire, Colorado, Tennessee, Michigan and Nevada. Ads will also run in Augusta, Maine; Bridgeport, Conn.; Lafayette, La.; San Antonio; Springfield, Mo.; Rockford, Ill.; Rochester, N.Y.; Roanoke, Va.; Lawton, Ok.; Washington, D.C.; and Macon, Ga.
“This gives us a good cross-section” of the country, Reilly said. Media is being bought in states that have compliance contracts with the FDA. To date, 42 states have such pacts.
On Friday, Arnold was named a semifinalist for the $150-225 million American Legacy Foundation national tobacco education account [Adweek, Aug. 2]. It has handled Massachusetts’ anti-smoking initiatives for nearly seven years. Other shops pitching that assignment are Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, both New York; and The Richards Group of Dallas.
Each semifinalist has various subcontractors assisting on the pitch. Arnold is teamed with Florida anti-smoking shop Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami. KB&P has help from Asher & Partners, Los Angeles, which crafts anti-smoking efforts in California. Western Initiative Media is aiding both Richards and KB&P.