Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Smoke Free Movies Org Needs Better Message to Attract and Convince Movie People

Smoke free movies in principle is an excellent idea. I truly believe that teens are very much impacted by what they see their favorite stars do in movies. (That’s why years ago I personally led a campaign to encourage the portrayal of safer sex practices in movies – a campaign that got major press but minor action.)

Yet I was totally annoyed by the full-page back page advertisement in the July 15 Daily Variety depicting a gas mask with the headline “Necessary, yes. Sufficient, no.”

The first sentence of the ad text reads: “Does a polluter become ‘green’ by handing out free gas masks?” And then goes on for seven more paragraphs about … well, my eyes glazed over when trying to read the ad text.

At the bottom of the ad was the logo for Smoke Free Movies and the website URL www.SmokeFreeMovies.ucsf.edu.

Now I’m all for eliminating smoking in movies – I believe good screenwriters can think of a better stage direction than “takes a drag on her cigarette to indicate she’s nervous.” But for heaven’s sake – who is going to read this horrible ad with the very tiny print of additional information at the bottom of the page?

If the Smoke Free Movies organization wants to get the attention of busy entertainment industry professionals, the organization needs to do better with its no smoking pitch. As it is, I was tempted to light a match to the ad – and I don’t even smoke!

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