Joe may be long gone, but Camel is hoping hipsters can pick up right where he left off.
The cigarette company is coming under fire for focusing on the cities where the cool kids live.
The Break Free Adventure Contest features ten “hip” locations including Austin, Seattle, New Orleans and Brooklyn’s own hipster epicenter, Williamsburg.
R.J. Reynold’s spokesman, David Howard says Camel chose these destinations because “they are places that are culturally unique and with entertainment popular with adults,” but parents in the area think the company is using their counterculture status to advocate smoking.
Now the National Association of Attorneys General is asking cigarette maker RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. to stop the promotional campaign.
In a recent letter, the co-chairman of the organization, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, wrote:
We are concerned that this advertising campaign is using aspects of popular culture, including independent music, art, motor sports, and ‘hip’ or countercultural attitudes, to advertise Camel cigarettes in a way that is appealing to young people’s psychological needs for rebelliousness, sensation-seeking, and risk-taking.
Obviously, this is not the first time Camel has gotten in trouble for their advertising. Back in the 1997, Joe Camel was banned and more recently Camel No.9 cigarettes came under fire for aiming their fuchsia packaging for teen girls.
Though many are looking for legislation, others have no problem with the advertising. What side do you fall on? Would you like to see the government outlaw the company’s use of cool cities or do you think no one owns the idea of hip?
While you think about that, check out the timeline below which covers the Golden Age of tobacco advertising which ranged from babies hawking Marlboro to Doctors recommending Camel.