The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

Kneeling down for cheap attention

Kneeling down for cheap attention


European advertising have a reputation as we speak about the use of shocking or sexual orientated images. And within Europe the French takes the lead like in these new ads from the French anti-smoking organisation Droits des Non Fumeurs.

Smoking is a submissive thing to do and can be compared with kneeling down for a man’s joy.

“Fumer, c’est être l’esclave du tabac.”
“To smoke is to be a slave to tobacco.”

Marco de la Fuente, vice president of agency BDDP & Fils said to the NYTimes that the ads were not designed either “to please or to shock people, but to change, to put back into the news a topic we don’t talk about enough, which threatens young people.”

Gérard Audureau, the president of Droits des Non-fumeurs, quoted in the French newspaper Le Parisien: “Using sex is a way to get their attention. And if it’s necessary to shock, let’s shock.”

According to the NYTimes the reaction on the web shas been mixed. One comment read, “The campaign trivializes sexual abuse — worse, it implies guilt on the part of the abused.”

Sacha Declomesnil from La fontaine de pierres: “I think it was all planned in advance. I think they knew it would be a scandal and that they would eventually have to retract. That’s why it was only 15.000 little postcards in bars, and the real campaign would be the video, which is so different it ‘s impossible an agency created a campaign with so little integration in the concepts, the video I really find it powerful…”

I asked your opinion at our Facebook Fan Page:
“this seems a bit suggestive to me….. I get the concept but this, to me, makes me think a lot more about pedophelia than smoking..”

“How can that not look suggestive? Were they trying to make an inuendo to oral? Because if they’re trying to illustrate something else (what I can’t guess),they totally failed.”

“This ad doesn’t work. Instead of sending a single, clear message (don’t smoke) it’s muddling the message with under-age sex. People will remember the sex, not the smoking.”

“I do agree with most people that a comparison between sexual abuse & tobacco consumption is inappropriate. As a media strategy though, it’s a big succes. They created a shock and from day one everyone is talking about those pictures. Even if secretary of state N. Morano decides to forbid the campaign, the DNF got what they wanted: attention.”

The video from this campaign, directed by Yvan Attal, communicate a complete different message.
Smoking is nothing but a docile submission to a product containing the worst toxic and carcinogenic substances such as acetone, naphthalene (mothballs), cadmium (in batteries), arsenic (poison), Polonium 210 (radioactive element), DDT (insecticide), mercury, tar, lead …
The video creates an imaginary parallel about young people who never accept to become a toxic dump.




Droits des Non Fumeurs
BDDP & Fils

Founder of Osocio. It all started with collecting election posters in 1973. And that's never stopped. Read more.