States Push Anti-Smoking PSAs


The National Association of Attorneys General is continuing to push theater owners to run anti-smoking trailers with any film that shows smoking "in a positive light."

That push was tied to a Dartmouth study that linked such film images with youth smoking, but the Attorneys Generals (AGs) could add TV to their list of targets if the opportunity arises, according to a source in the office of one prominent AG.

Six attorneys general met with the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) during their board meeting March 17, and the incumbent president of NAAG, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, met with them again last week asking for the trailers.

Adonis Hoffman of The American Association of Advertising Agencies, was troubled. "The logical question is what comes next? If the states are going down this path [of content-related PSAs], where will this lead us? Will there have to be real-time disclaimers whenever there is product placement in TV and movies? I certainly hope not."

For those interested in following the issue, which apparently includes powerful legislators, the Senate Commerce Committee is planning a hearing the second week of May on the impact on children of smoking in the movies.