Former Food & Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler today for the first time criticized tobacco ads aimed at adults and called for restraints on the imagery that could be used. Mr. Kessler, who in the past has tied his complaints about tobacco ads to concern about underage smokers, ripped new R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. ads for Camel Lights in testimony at the Senate Commerce Committee. Holding out a copy of Spin
featuring a large Camel Lights ad of a woman, Mr. Kessler complained that tobacco companies who had targeted women in the 1930s and teen-agers more recently were now turning their attention to 18-to-24-year-olds, and he called for content restrictions. Association of National Advertisers said Mr. Kessler's criticism of ads aimed at adults "crosses over a threshold. Apparently he is suggesting that even adults can't be trusted to handle advertising," said exec VP Dan Jaffe.
Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.