Oct
19
2009

You'll Never Advertise in This Town Again

The American Medical Association Alliance issues periodicreports on depictions of smoking in popular movies. The group seemed to come up with agoodway to publicize their findings–that is, until corporate reality intervened:

In May, the organization, working with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, announced that the studio found to be the biggest smoking offender would be publicly shamed on nearby billboards. But billboard vendors throughout Los Angeles–which the alliance said are heavily dependent on entertainment industry advertising–refused to run the ad, according to Ms. Kyler.

"It's a sad day when movie studios can promote smoking to youth, but public health advocates cannot find a billboard in the whole city of Los Angeles that will run an ad to alert the public about the problem," she said.

The worst smoking-in-movies offender, by the way, was Universal–a studio mainly owned by General Electric. The country's two biggest billboard companies are both also major players in the broadcasting industry–Clear Channel and CBS.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.