Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Big Tobacco And Your Child

Did you know that there are people out there who target your children for a living?

There are jobs where people sit around and think of ways to "reach out to" (aka brainwash) your child. It's rampant. While some of the things done are relatively benign - putting sugary, colorful cereals on a low shelf (your knee level, but smack in front of your little kid), others are not.

Like this:

Big tobacco has had some lean years recently, what with the lawsuits and all. So now they're targeting the overseas population, and within the US, they're targeting specialized niches. Women, minorities, and particularly, children and young adults. Targeting the latter group is particularly sneaky. After all, if you can get them hooked, since you know your productive may be as addictive as heroin, you've just bought yourself a customer for life.

While I knew this on an intellectual level, only recently did I see it in action. Kool sent my little cousin a "free" gift: a classy, portable, silver colored domino set. Included in the gift was a pamplet with barely legal MTV-ish models on the cover, drinking and having a good time. Here are some excerpts from said pamphlet:

"Welcome to Kustom, where self-expression is always in style. Use the domino set we sent you to fine-tune your strategy, then take your skills to www.kool.com"

"No pad is complete without a kicking home theather or sound system. Get sound advice from an expert at www.kool.com"


Remind me again - what was that website you're trying to ingrain into some poor 12 year old's head? There's no mention of smoking or cigarettes in any of the gift contents, but if they can lure you to the website (the actual website name being www.smokerswelcome.com, a more truthful title), they've got their fishing line in the water.

I've no idea how these people sleep at night. They should be forced to spend some time with an end stage emphysema or lung cancer patient and see them gasp for air before a miserable death. Then try to go back and hook little kids to make a profit.

Granted, there are people sitting around thinking of ways to brainwash adults as well. And, by the looks of our huge consumer economy, they do a pretty darn good job of it. Hey, I'm all for free choice. If you're 35 years old and make a conscious, educated decision to do something detrimental to your health, it's your choice. But while it's one thing to make an adult really, really want to buy something, it's seems wrong for them to target children. After all, if we don't think they should drink or vote before the age of 18 or 21, shouldn't it be illegal for anyone to tempt them with cancer sticks before they're old enough to know better?

1 Comments:

Blogger ipanema said...

Looks like RJRT [tobacco company in question] needs to be reported with all these promotions. I've seen the welcome page of that website and what's funny is the Warning sign on that mentions the bad effects...lol
Contradicting.

Dubious marketing strategy. These sites should be closed. I think this can be reported.

3:53 PM  

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