A review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggested that tanning at the beach or an indoor tanning booth can help avoid the dangers of vitamin D deficiency. However, the NEJM didn't disclose that the article's author, Michael Holick, has received more than $150,000 in research funding from the artificial tanning industry.
The Freedom's Watch Louisiana ad
Reed Pence of MediaTracks Communications wants his fellow public relations professionals to know there's nothing wrong with "guaranteed placement" -- paying to have radio or television stations air fake news. "Many PR pros face the challenge of acquiring coverage for a product that isn't newsworthy," he writes in a letter to PR Week. "Some believe that [guaranteed placement] is just advertising," but it's not, he claims.
"Mywireless.org," a group that's "working hard to kill a cell phone reform bill at the Minnesota legislature," describes itself as "a non-profit consumer advocacy organization" formed to protect cell phone users' "freedom, value, security and mobility." But it's "staffed almost entirely by telecommunications industry executives, drawn mainly from the ranks of the
Junk mail kills trees, clogs mailboxes, packs landfills, wastes natural resources, and everyone would be glad to be rid of it. Right?
Well, maybe not.
Whether out of environmental concern or sheer annoyance, legislated efforts to reduce junk mail are on the rise, but companies that have vested interests in its continuance have started organizing to save it--in a big way. Of course, they don't call it junk mail. Their preferred euphemisms are "advertising mail," "direct mail" or even "standard mail."
The Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals missed a great opportunity this week to hold the tobacco industry accountable for one of its worst marketing tactics -- positioning cigarette brands in response to smokers' medical concerns. The April 7, 2008, issue of the New York Times has an article about the dismissal of a huge, class-action lawsuit against the tobacco industry that was brought by smokers of "light" cigarettes who claimed they were misled about the relative safety of "light" cigarettes compared to regular, "full flavor" cigarettes. The suit, and its dismissal by the court, brought to mind a little-recognized tobacco industry marketing survival tactic that weighs heavily on the public's perception of exactly what "light" means.
The tobacco industry has long had a remarkable ability to rescue itself from damaging health claims by turning allegations against its products into marketing opportunities. Inside the industry, the fact that cigarettes cause widespread illness and death is referred to as the "smoking and health" issue, or "S&H issue" for short. Tobacco marketers consider "S&H issues" to be little more than "external marketing forces" that require re-positioning of products, through changes in advertising copy strategy, so that smokers will get an illusion of safety from the dangers they perceive.