by Kevin O'Connell
This ad, paid for by the Campagne anti-tabac de Droits des non-fumeurs, is an anti-smoking ad that portrays young people smoking while simultaneously in a position to give oral sex, with the cigarette symbolizing a penis. According to DR, the ad is meant to show that cigarette use creates dependency and submission in the user. The message, “Fumer, c’est etre l’esclave du tabac” translates to; “Smoking makes you a slave of tobacco”.
I thought that this ad was particularly interesting because I don’t think it would ever appear in the US because of the explicit sexual nature. The main criticism about the ad in France was not that it was too sexual, but that it trivialized sexual abuse. I think this ad is effective because it immediately grabs your attention and also conveys a strong and clear message.
I’m not sure if it was done intentionally or not, but the Onion also made a joke video titled, “New Anti-Smoking Ad Warns Teens it’s Gay to Smoke”. In one of the scenes in the clip, they assume the same position as this ad.