Thoughtful Smokers Make Fewer Enemies

The Wall Street Journal looks at one tobacco company’s attempt to create a kindler, gentler smoker.

The world’s No. 3 tobacco maker is betting on an unusual strategy amid a widening backlash against smoking: Keep smokers on their best behavior.
Japan Tobacco Ltd. is bombarding Japanese subways, newspapers and billboards with ads that resemble earnest public-service announcements.
“Don’t smoke in a crowd, coats are expensive,” says one of 40 different print and outdoor advertisements that hang in Tokyo’s subway and other public areas. The ad shows a stick-figure man with a giant cigarette next to a woman wearing a coat with a hole in it.

Japan has the highest percentage of people who smoke in the industrialized world—half of the male population smokes.
Japan Tobacco controls more than 70% of the cigarette market in Japan. A state-owned monopoly until 1985, the Japanese Finance Ministry now own half of the company.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.