The Federal Trade Commsisssion (FTC) is currently engaged in a lawsuit to enjoin R.J. Reynolds from using Joe Camel. It so happens Reynolds retired the advertising mascot last year. But the FTC seeks to prevent the company from bringing Joe back should it opt to do so at some future time.
The "Feds" say Joe was aimed at teen-agers. But we wonder how much attention Joe received among folks of all ages in California compared to a current anti-smoking ad noticed in that state.
For years, some scientists have warned smoking can contribute to impotence as well as fertility problems in men. And anti-smoking forces have seized on this as a potentially powerful new way of getting people to kick the habit.
As reported in the Associated Press, a $21 million campaign launched in California in June includes a cigarette drooping limply. The message is "Cigarettes. Still Think They're Sexy?"
We would strongly oppose any pro-tobacco effort to censor the California message. And we strongly oppose the FTC's attack on the now retired Joe Camel.
We don't want the First Amendment to go up in smoke in the name of political correctness.