truth(SM) campaign launched a new series of ads today, as part of its efforts to engage and empower young people with facts about tobacco. The ads, entitled "Making Blacks History," will connect with African American youth to inform them about how tobacco is marketed to them. Using a provocative and humorous approach, the ads deliver the hard-hitting fact that African Americans have been specially targeted by tobacco marketing.
"We wanted to create ads that would be direct, hard-hitting and in your face," says Chikira Cotten, a graduating high school senior and representative of the truth(SM) campaign. "'Making Blacks History' ads will confront African American teens with facts they need to know -- in a way that will catch their attention and not preach at them." The campaign features popular actor Phil Lamar, a former star of Fox network's Madd TV and the movie, Pulp Fiction. The concept for the ads came about as a result of focus group sessions with African American youth from across the nation.
The health impact of tobacco on African Americans and youth in particular is a theme in the ads which addresses the addictiveness of nicotine and the negative health effects of tobacco.
Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show each year, 45,000 African Americans die from a smoking-related disease and an estimated 1.6 million African Americans under age 18 become regular smokers. Of those young people, about 500,000 will eventually die of a smoking-related illness.
"For years, African Americans have been targeted with tobacco messages, particularly our young people," said Helen Lettlow, a spokesperson at the American Legacy Foundation, sponsor of truth(SM). "Of course tobacco is deadly for everyone, but when greater marketing emphasis is placed on our community, we need to know that we are at greater health risk. These ads will deliver that message to our younger generation."
The "Making Blacks History" ads were created by Burrell Communications Group in Chicago, one of the nation's leading Black-owned advertising firms. They are scheduled to begin airing in June and will run throughout much of the summer on network and cable television programs most popular with African American youth (including WB, UPN, Fox, and Black Entertainment Television). Radio spots will be broadcast in 25 key markets throughout the country with high African American youth audiences.
truth(SM) is the national campaign led by America's youth that have united to combat tobacco and the marketing aimed at them. Their mission is to inspire other young people to learn facts and information about how they're marketed to and to take control over their decisions about whether or not to use tobacco.
The American Legacy Foundation (Legacy) is the sponsor of the truth(SM) campaign. Legacy seeks to decrease tobacco consumption among all ages, cultures and races by reducing youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, and increasing successful quit rates. The American Legacy Foundation is working to undo the harm from tobacco use in this country through innovative, collaborative and research-based solutions.
unknown, June 29, 2000, PRNewswire/via NewsEdge Corporation
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