The ‘70s and ‘80s were a golden age of shock PSAs. For those of us who grew up with ads showing innocent schoolgirls getting creamed by dangerous drivers, or drugged brains being fried like eggs, it could be a scarring experience. It certainly got our attention, but did it do anything else?
The Cancer Council of Western Australia is betting that a PSA approach that the New South Wales Cancer Institute tried in 1979 will. It uses two sponges as a stand-in for a smoker’s lungs to show how much crap accumulates there in a year.
Prepare to be grossed out:
According to The Western Australian, the original ads were powerful enough that The Tobacco Institute of Australia fought to have them banned in the 1980s, and briefly succeeded until copy was “altered slightly” and it was reinstated.
12.7% of West Australians older than 16 still smoke tobacco.
Cancer Council of Western Australia
Based on a 1979 concept by John Bevins, then of Ogilvy & Mather.
The West Australian
australia - psa - shock advertising - tobacco