Teens Get to Spread the ‘Truth’

Tobacco is like a disease. Diseases spread. So why not take the “Truth” logo, the visual icon of the American Legacy Foundation’s $150 million anti-smoking effort, and give it to teenagers in a way in which they can spread the message?

That’s the intent behind Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s new print ads, breaking this month in magazines like Mass Appeal, Snowboarder, Vibe and Teen People. Removable “Truth” stencils appear beside graffiti work by ESPO, Site and Philadelphia artist David Kinsey. Teens can remove the stencils and transfer “Truth” onto their skateboards, notebooks or car bumpers.

“It comes out of the concept of viral marketing, where marketing spreads like a virus through society,” said CP+B vice chairman and creative director Alex Bogusky. “The best advertising is still by word of mouth and if you can get people to talk about it, it works a lot better.”

The Miami agency’s work has won international acclaim. In Cannes last week, the shop won the Grand Prix in the Media Lions competition at the 48th International Advertising Festival for its Florida Anti-Tobacco Pilot Program media plan.

Meanwhile, Arnold in Boston, which also works on the “Truth” campaign, launched radio spots June 14 in 27 markets including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. In “Flavor Suggestions,” a teen is heard calling Philip Morris to discuss the ingredients, like ammonia, that the firm puts in cigarettes.