‘Truth’ vs. Big Cigs’ Puppet Power

NEW YORK A new spot in the American Legacy Foundation’s seven-year-old “Truth” campaign asks, “WHUDAFXUP with puppets?” Created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Arnold, the 60-second spot, one of two in a series breaking this month, stars a “Truth”-seeking correspondent who dons a purple plush puppet suit to find out who furry talking characters appeal to best. The voiceover explains, “As long ago as 1969, a tobacco executive agreed to ‘avoid advertising directed to young people.'” Yet 10 years later, the narration continues, “They supplied their products to be featured in The Muppet Movie.” Numerous adults on the street ignore the interviewer when he tries to chat them up. He finally receives a warm welcome in a park, where children rush up to play with him. “Looks like this kind of thing appeals more to kids than adults,” he concludes. Predictable outcome, but it entertainingly presents another eye-opening factoid about tobacco’s historically deceptive marketing ploys.