Just a Tool of Big Corporations, and Happy in the Role

RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 27, 2003

   In this week's [Oct. 17] issue of the Chronicle, an ad for Winston cigarettes advises readers to "leave the bull behind." A healthy - and athletic-appearing couple embraces on a private beach, the implication being that all this can be yours if you'll just smoke Winston.
   May I kindly suggest, Austin Chronicle, that you leave the bull behind. First, drop the tobacco ads altogether. As everyone knows, hundreds of medical studies have shown that cigarette smoking causes cancer and other diseases. Yes, yes, cigarettes are a legal product, and people should be allowed to make up their own minds. But, if these ads weren't effective at swaying people to take up the habit, why would the tobacco companies spend millions on them? (And it's not simply to entice smokers to jump to another brand, as the advertisers would have us believe.) Someone, some publication, has to take the courageous first step and refuse the filthy lucre of big tobacco advertising.
   If that is not possible, then please inject a little reality into the ads: Show some lung tissue samples that resemble, if anything, the soot-filled inside of an average chimney.
   Until then, the Chronicle will remain, in my mind, a tool of big corporations – entities which you so readily rail against in your pages.
Mike Ozmun
   [Ed. note: Mike, since this ad doesn't offend us, can you send us a list of other Chronicle ads that offend you so we know what not to run? A couple of cycles in the washer and the lucre not nearly so filthy.]
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