The Tobacco companies are on the run, it seems. A recent court ruling in the USA has ordered that they take out a full page advert apologising for misleading the public on the dangers of smoking, as well as pay damages and change their branding to remove references to cigarettes being “Light”, since that implies that these cigarettes are not so bad for you.
Coming back from holiday in Germany on Monday, I saw this nice little bit of accessorising; a free bag that came with Lucky Strikes:
The health warning was actually stitched onto the bag. This was clearly something that was meant to be part of the design. Clearly, the government-imposed warning labels have become part of the actual branding of the cigarette!
Are tobacco companies changing tack? Since they’ve now lost the struggle to keep the lethality of their product a secret, are they now embarking on a clever campaign to market cigarettes as the product of choice for the discerning risk-taker?
Will it become the new extreme sport, to rival BASE Jumping, river-rapid kayaking or bungee jumping?
Will it one day become the anti-establishment norm to smoke cigarettes, in the way that having piercings, a green Mohican or tattoos were?
Will we see a new raft of smoking-led body modifications? Watch out for the avant-garde gangrenous foot or the sexy and neckline-enhancing Tracheotomy hole, complete with alluring robotic voice.
Death Cigarettes were a little ahead of their time, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the tobacco companies start marketing their products with pictures of cancerous lungs, larynxes and premature babies.