Ads Past and Present

Check out these unbelievable ads from the Tobacco Institute, which I found from the Tobacco Documents database. Click to enlarge.

And here is the tamest of the Heartland Institute’s full-page ads in the Washington Post (from a year or two ago, exact date unknown):


10 thoughts on “Ads Past and Present

  1. There is of course the home goal video recently released by 10:10 called ‘No Pressure’.
    Can’t really decide what I make of it. It is quite strange and far to gory for normal TV, but there are worse things in ‘Family Guy’!
    Maybe ‘Family Guy’ was the model ‘humour’ for the video.

    There is an irony about the fact that the denial extremists have a adopted it, claiming it is what environmentalists think, when in reality it is what they think of environmentalists (which is probably what the idea embedded in the production is about). But they don’t seem to understand that.

  2. Gerald Machnee:
    “You are trying to turn the tables and blame everything on the other side. Let’s keep the origin of the video correct – made in England by the Green side. They made a gross mistake and are now paying for it. There is no irony.”

    That is quite a bizarre interpretation.
    As far as i’m aware, my local council which has been solidly Tory for decades is still signed up to 10:10.
    From what I have read, 10:10 has gained a few thousand supporters, including companies. It seems to be those with a pre-disposition to be negative and extreme that are fussed about it.
    In the mean time, today the first UK bio gas plant to produce gas from human excrement started supplying homes and Jaguar showed the first hybrid electric/turbine super sports car with carbon emissions of 28g CO2/km.
    At least here in the UK ‘the green side’ consists of just about every creed.

  3. Kate:

    There’s also a Fraser Institute ad from last year which is another variation on this ‘question authority / weigh both sides / open up the debate’ meme.

    It’s a smooth trick: the advertiser just needs pretend that he’s encouraging ‘independent thought’, and then throw out a bunch of ‘subversive truths’, and many people will uncritically accept these so-called ‘subversive truths’ as gospel, without trying to verify them.

    Besides attacking the science, global warming inactivists also try to attack the political deliberation process itself: if you haven’t already come across it, check out my discussion of PR man Tom Harris’s calls “information sharing” and “coordinated local activism”, and his stated aim of swaying “public opinion, as well as perceptions of public opinion” (N.B.!).


  4. > Can’t really decide what I make of it.

    Same here… I just didn’t get it. No narrative that makes sense, no story logic. Just something that almost appears designed to make the denialosphere go ape.

    Hmm, what if this were indeed the intent? What if the 10:10-ers planned the whole thing, not just the video but the deniers’ predictable response, the outrageous semi-apology and the ensueing yet more ape? Outsourcing their publicity to folks that could be trusted to dedicate resources and zeal to the matter ;-)

    The first rule in journalism, and PR, is to get people’s attention. If you don’t in the first ten seconds, what you say after that doesn’t matter anymore. Any other video would have been the umpteenth tame, conventional, uninteresting attempt to get people around to bringing emissions down. This one got attention. It’s a story. An outrage. Egg on some high-visibility folks’ faces. News!

    Hmm. Crazy idea? Or are champagne corks popping at 10:10?

    PS just saw an interview on BBC with the major of Vegas. He, one of the ‘good guys’ it seems, confessed to, on one occasion, calling for the next grafitti sprayer to be caught to have his thumb cut off. No thumbs were ever chopped of course, but the statement made headlines alright ;-)

  5. Citations needed for what? The ads don’t talk about smoking causing cancer, they discuss second hand smoke.

  6. Perhaps this was accidental, or not, but of course Heartland grew up helping tobacco companies, and the climate anti-science turf is relatively recent. jospeh Bast is the president.

    I tend to use the UCSF portal Legacy Tobacco Documents Libary. For some treason, it does better with searches:
    heartland institute
    heartland bast

    Realistically, if you can help cigarette companies stay in business, which only works by getting kids addicted between ~12-19 years, then confusing people about climate is child’s play.

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