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Friday, November 26, 2010

Camels Chided For Using San Francisco in Tobacco Ads. Use These Sh*tholes Instead.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 10:45 AM

click to enlarge Phallic camels aren't welcome in this here town!
  • Phallic camels aren't welcome in this here town!

Earlier this week, City Attorney Dennis Herrera and short-timer Department of Public Health Director Mitch Katz wrote a sternly worded letter to Joe Camel's corporate overlords.

The two chided R.J. Reynolds for using the Haight -- as well as Brooklyn, Vegas, and Austin -- as one of the iconic American locales in a Camels "Break Free Adventure" advertising campaign. The San Francisco officials claimed this was a loathsome -- and illegal -- pitch at the youth demographic; RJR should be ashamed for enchanting youth by "featuring cities, including San Francisco, that are

associated with independent music, trendiness, rebellion and freedom."

We're not entirely sure how you can represent "trendiness" and "rebellion." And are Herrera and Katz trying to say that San Francisco is too pretty to be in a tobacco ad? If so, we have have a solution: RJR must only feature bleak, boring, soul-destroying locales in its "Break Free Adventure" campaign. Here are our 10 suggestions:

  • Orange County -- the epitome of cookie-cutter sprawl;

  • North Dakota -- in winter;

  • Centralia, Penn. -- This town was abandoned due to an uncontrollable, decades-long fire burning the coal reserves in the ground below. A metaphor that's ripe for the picking;

  • Anywhere in Nevada that isn't Vegas, Lake Tahoe, or, possibly, Reno -- High school kids graduate in the morning and take the Greyhound elsewhere in the afternoon;

  • Roubaix, France -- Don't be fooled by the gorgeous architecture of yore: Our international entry is a dead-end, burned-out industrial city in a troubled region. Unemployment is rife, poverty is rampant, and quality of life is merde.  

Anyhow, if Camels was made to feature locales such as these in its ads, then the true glamor of smoking would be revealed for all to see.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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