Case Study:

Camping for Tobacco-Free Kids

The Challenge

Tobacco companies specifically targeted young people with marketing campaigns designed to increase tobacco consumption among minors. Unfortunately, the campaign was effective: about 100,000 children were becoming smokers each year.

Despite a rule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to severely restrict the ability of tobacco companies to merchandise and market their products to children, there was concern that powerful tobacco industry interests would persuade Congress to overturn the rule.

The Solution

Smith & Harroff initiated a communications plan that exploited the low credibility that tobacco companies have with the public.

Communications Plan and Implementation

We designed and produced print, television and radio advertisements for “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.” The ads contrast the tobacco industry’s denials with strong evidence of its marketing to youngsters. By placing the ads in Washington media and in key congressional districts, Smith & Harroff made congressional members aware of the political risks of overturning the FDA rule. The message forced congressional members to choose between kids’ health and tobacco companies.

The Results

Congress did not block the FDA rule and subsequently a federal judge ruled that the FDA has the power to regulate tobacco.

Our ads for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids became a very visible banner to rally support for restricting cigarette advertising and sales to minors. The popular campaign also turned the debate from a question of freedom of speech to one of children’s health and predatory marketing practices.

Additional Case Studies

Smith & Harroff works with CAI and CAMICB to build social media campaigns, distribute tool kits to state chapters, implement public service announcements, target states working on legislation to require licensure, and use highly targeted paid advertising through a multitude of online channels.
For more than 30 years, during the many challenges the industry has faced, Smith & Harroff has been on the front line of the nuclear energy debate. We have worked with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the trade association and policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry, individual nuclear utilities and corporations like Westinghouse Electric Company.
Smith & Harroff developed paid media to promote the construction of a new football stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The messaging emphasized the fact that Prop. 302 involved much more than a football stadium. Public funding would go toward tourism promotion, youth and amateur sports, major concerts, trade shows and conventions.
TOP