Friday, September 25, 2009

Smoking Everywhere

This drizzly Friday, I fumbled to my mailbox and waited while the huge horkin' ad that covers half of my e-mail rendered.

I had to look twice.

"Smoking Everywhere" blared at me. A hot chick with a cigarette in hand  was telling me to "Try it out Free."

No, no, I'm not a frothing anti-smoker sort. Hell, half of my social network likely remembers me with a cancer stick hanging from my bottom lip. Those were good times and I met great people with my dirty smelly habit. Eventually, the whole "breathing not wheezing" thing penetrated my mind and I quit some years ago. I tell you this so you understand my shock does not involve revulsion for the act of smoking or the product of cigarettes.

I am perplexed to see a big frakkin' ad banner promoting any kind of cigarette on the most frequented page of a PG-13 Web service -- the e-mail in-box. Yeah, yeah, I know about targeted advertising. Yeah, yeah, I know "they" can separate me from a 12 year old and serve me relevant ads based on that "we know who you are and where you go but we're not tracking your data, no really" technology.

It's a cigarette ad.

Yes, I can read. It's an electric cigarette ad. Tobacco legislation doesn't apply here. The ad isn't promoting smoking, its promoting faux-smoking. ::blink:: ::blink::  If that's the case, why isn't the Advertising Sales team selling that placement to near-beer companies or sexual-health companies? Matter of fact why isn't AdOps spinning the ads in that order? O'Doul's, KY, and smokeless smokes. Go ahead, toss in the lucite and latex clothing stores. I know there are sites in the queue too, so crank it up and show me the party your "data" says I should I like.


To top if off, the smoking ad was followed by a health-insurance ad.

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