One significant change that you will see in tobacco product ads next month will be in the size and placement of warning labels. You probably remember joking with friends about the size of the current warning labels. It's likely that you joked at the absurdity of these tiny labels, off in the corner, that you have to get a magnifying glass out just to read. The image on the left shows the old way of giving warnings. Yes, it is there, but is it effective?
Looking at the image on the right, the joke about the warning is not as funny any more. This is a serious, substantial warning that is going to let people look beyond the colorful branding and the "freedom" Camel Snus is selling in their ads. The new ads must take up 20% of the ad.
While the warning labels say almost exactly the same thing (the only difference is "may" in the before warning label and "can" in the after warning label) the delivery of their message is entirely different. The label on the left is something people will take notice of and not just brush off like the old labels, at least according to some people. While this might not seem as first glance to be a wildly significant change, if it deters even 100 youth from picking up this product, that is worth it! That is 100 less youth who face a lifetime of addiction and the painful consequences of tobacco related disease.
There will be four different warnings including:
- This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes
- This product can cause mouth cancer
- This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss
- Smokeless tobacco is addictive (a new warning)
Some researchers do not feel that these advertisements go far enough. There is that 80% of the ad that can still influence people. Take a look below at a mail piece we received in February promoting a special price on Camel Snus.
Camel Snus can go to the club and never miss a beat. The implication here is that you can dance the night away with Snus in your mouth and never have to go out for a cigarette and miss you favorite song. Even with 20% coverage from a new, bolder warning the question remains if that will be enough to deter people. Will they still want to "Break-Free?" Or "Take a Bold Step?"