Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Have You Come A Long Way Baby? Thoughts About Old Cigarette Commercials

After months of working without pay, is running its first commercial!
The advertisement will run on Our legal department has informed us that the commercial, which ran on the Flintstones TV show back in 1961 has legal and ethical ramifications that could alienate a large portion of our readership.........
On a more serious note, cigarette ads were banned from the airwaves, especially children's TV shows back in 1965. Millions of dollars are spent on advertising. A proven correlation exists between advertising and consumer preferences.
Commercials are proven to be effective beyond a doubt. A Superbowl ad of a minute's duration can cost millions, yet we still debate the effect of television and films on shaping human behavior. I am not advocating censorship, but that artists take themselves and their audience seriously. Those who create music or film are shaping not only a song or a movie script but the hearts and minds of those who enjoy their creations.
We can look back at racist shows that once ran on TV. We can look back on cigarette commercials that once ran on children's television and smugly applaud ourselves for the progress we have made. It would be better to question and challenge our current level of awareness. Will there be facets of the popular culture today that will shock and repulse us in the future? The time to ask this question is now.

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