Ads ‘n’ Ends From the New York Times (CYA Edition)

The hardworking staff is always interested in the issue advocacy/corporate image ads that appear in major U.S. newspapers, most especially the New York Times, which functions as sort of the community bulletin board for corporate America.

The thing is, though, very often those full-page advertisements are actually what media historian James Twitchell refers to as exvertisements, “the type of advertising that draws viewers’ attention away from the client’s product or service.”

In other words, a misdirection play.

So, to begin: This ad for Philip Morris International ran in last Sunday’s edition of the Times.

Body copy:

So . . . Philip Morris can’t do it alone and it needs “leaders, policymakers, scientists, health professionals, and everyone else” to take responsibility for a smoke-free future.

What’s the dodge here?

Lisa Rapaport’s Reuters piece provides a clue.

‘Heat-not-burn’ cigarettes still damage lungs

(Reuters Health) – A new type of “heat-not-burn” cigarette may lead to just as much lung damage as traditional cigarettes, a recent study suggests.

So-called “heat-not-burn” devices are designed to heat disposable tobacco sticks and give users the taste of tobacco without the smoke or ash.

For the study, researchers analyzed data submitted by Philip Morris International to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when the company was trying to win regulatory approval to market its I-Quit-Ordinary Smoking (IQOS) product as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.

The FDA has yet to weigh in on whether Philip Morris can sell its IQOS device as a lower-risk cigarette alternative. But an expert scientific panel convened by the FDA recommended against such a move earlier this year, and the new study offers fresh evidence of health risks associated with IQOS.


Next up: This high-priced spread from Chipotle in Monday’s Times.

Body copy:

Real change? Really?

Maybe not so much, according to this Ad Age piece by Jessica Wohl.


Chipotle Mexican Grill’s first major marketing push under new leadership relies on less humor to put more emphasis on the food itself.

The new campaign comes about three years after Chipotle found itself in crisis mode as food safety concerns piled up. A lot has changed since those bleak days, as Chipotle instituted new food preparation techniques, mandated new training, brought in new leadership and hired new agencies. But reports of illnesses tied to its restaurant still flare up from time to time, dragging Chipotle back into a spotlight that it is eager to escape.

Chew on that, eh?

Moving along, Johnson & Johnson ran this ad in both the Monday and Tuesday editions of the Times.

Body copy:

Others, however, are waiting on a lawsuit against J&J, as Bloomberg’s Jef Feeley, Margaret Cronin Fisk and Sarah Favot report.

J&J Talc Cancer Case Ends in Mistrial With Divided Jury

Johnson & Johnson’s latest trial over claims that its baby powder causes cancer ended in a stalemate when jurors couldn’t agree on a verdict.

A state judge in Pasadena, California, declared a mistrial Monday after jurors deadlocked on Carolyn Weirick’s request for at least $25 million in damages over her mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Weirick said she developed the disease from asbestos-laced baby powder.

In the last case to go to trial, a jury in Missouri awarded $4.69 billion in July to more than 20 women who blamed baby powder for their cancers. J&J is appealing.

And appealing to our better angels in an attempt to change the topic.

You see how this game works, right?

Bonus Local Exvertisement 

This Coca-Cola of New England full-page ad ran the other day in the Boston Sunday Globe.

And why might Coca Cola of New England be running an exvertisement?

Maybe because of this Google News joint.

Well that’s a totally different investment Coca-Cola believes in. Just don’t look too closely, please.

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