CALIFORNIA HEALTH DEP'T SLAMS TOBACCO ADS

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New anti-smoking ads from the California Department of Health Services that broke last week include a spread headlined "Truth vs. Advertising." It runs thumbnail versions of cigarette print ads for Marlboro, Camel, Virginia Slims and other brands, along with bullet points about such issues as lung cancer, second-hand smoke and minority targeting. One TV spot attacks tobacco marketing techniques, such as promotional giveaways and graphic images that the state contends are aimed at kids. Another spot, linking smoking to impotence, shows a cigarette going limp. The campaign, paid for with cigarette taxes, was created by Asher & Partners, Imada Wong Communications Group, Valdes Zacky & Associates, all Los Angeles, and Carol H. Williams Advertising, San Francisco.

Jack in the Box, Fox top art director awards

At the 77th annual Art Directors Club Awards, Foodmakers' Jack in the Box won the gold medal for the best campaign with spots of varying lengths. The campaign, from Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co., Santa Monica, Calif., also won gold in the 30-second or less category for the spot "Driving Test." Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, won the award for the best campaign with spots 30-seconds or less for its efforts for Fox Network hockey broadcasts. TBWA International offices in Venice, Calif., New York and South Africa won a combined seven gold and silver medals in the awards competition, which honors visual design in disciplines including print and broadcast advertising and new media.

BATF ad rules fight pushed ahead by judge

A court challenge to the constitutionality of federal rules that bar health benefit claims from alcoholic beverage ads can proceed, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington ruled. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's ruling, in a case brought by the Competitive Enterprise Institute against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, was disclosed last week. CEI had earlier petitioned the Treasury Department agency, which controls alcoholic-beverage advertising and labeling, to establish rules for health claims. The judge rejected the claim.

NAD says Campbell will modify Prego ad

Campbell Soup Co. agreed to modify advertising for Prego Traditional spaghetti sauce to more clearly limit taste preference claims to the actual competing products and attributes tested, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus said. Borden Food Corp., marketer of Classico brand spaghetti sauces, had challenged the ad and such claims as "Taste tests prove it" and "Prego beats the rest." NAD said Campbell had a reasonable basis to support its claim that "Families prefer the taste of Prego." Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, handles Prego.

Hallmark/Tassone combining four shops

Hallmark/Tassone, Pittsburgh, is merging four agencies acquired over the last two years into a $83 million shop with offices in Pittsburgh, Orlando and Tampa, Fla. Hallmark/Tassone recently acquired Altman Meder Lawrence Hill, Tampa, which is being combined with Tampa shops Winner Koenig/Hallmark and Pearson Thomas/Hallmark; the Orlando office was formed through last year's merger of Frailey & Wilson/Hallmark and Richard Sibley Advertising.

Chapter 11 filing made by Long John Silver's

Long John Silver's said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a restructuring plan for the 1,300-unit seafood chain. In March, it moved the creative portion of its estimated $60 million advertising account to Lowe & Partners/SMS from Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, both New York. Western International Media, Los Angeles, handles media buying. Mike Kerns, Long John Silver's senior VP-marketing, said the move won't affect advertising plans. Lowe's first major work breaks in July, he said.

AICP honors Mercedes, VW, Apple spots

At the Art & Technique of the American TV Commercial show, winners for the best single commercial spot were the "Falling in Love" spot for Mercedes-Benz of North America from Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York; "Sunday Afternoon" for Volkswagen of America from Arnold Communications, Boston; and "Think Different," for Apple Computer Corp. via TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, took the most awards, with seven.

Disney gives FCB Winnie the Pooh line

Mattel's Disney Entertainment division awarded Foote, Cone & Belding, Los Angeles, its Pooh and Disney activity toy lines. The review included Mattel's second shop, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Los Angeles, and other undisclosed agencies. FCB also won, without a review, an action-figure assignment for Disney Entertainment. Spending was not disclosed.

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