The Ad In Wired I Could Do Without

I’m a Wired subscriber. This is actually my second time around. I got the magazine early on, before the dotcom bust. It was amazing back then.

I get it now because of some weasel deal (which I can’t remember) that brings it to me for free. I read it. I enjoy it. I’m not sure I’d pay for it (though it is the perfect ‘long flight’ magazine).

Wired takes advertising from cigarette companies. This is a magazine for adults, so I guess I’m not going to object too strenuously.

However (when a paragraph begins “However,” watch out), they carry ads for “Natural American Spirit” cigarettes which I find totally and wholly objectionable. And, again, it’s not just because they’re advertising cigarettes.

Let me quote from the copy on their ‘card stock’ ad, bound in Wired:

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company was established in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1982 with the mission of providing the world with the highest and purest quality, 100% additive-free, natural tobacco products.

In larger, bold letters at the bottom of the page, it says:

the additive free alternative.

Of course, on the back, in what I believe is called a tombstone disclaimer, they write:

No additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette.

The emphasis is theirs, by the way.

OK – so the stuff on the front is puffery (pun intended) and it’s taken away by the stuff on the back. Fine – we all know cigarettes are bad and it’s an adult magazine.

Speaking of their products, the ad continues:

You may think our colors are a bit unique. But we are a company who has always done things our own way. We chose our pack colors to reflect the unique colors found in the earth and sky of our home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

So, you’ve got these free thinking tobacco merchants from Santa Fe bucking the tide by being earthy while they sell their smokes… except… Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RJR). Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc. manufactures Natural American Spirit cigarettes and other tobacco products, and markets them both nationally and internationally.

That last quote isn’t in the ad. I found it on their web page. And Reynolds American – you remember them?

2 thoughts on “The Ad In Wired I Could Do Without”

  1. Living near Santa Fe, I thought maybe those ads were a regional thing. Now I know they’re national and despicable. And who really gives a ** about the earth colors? The only color that matters is the black on your lung tissue.

  2. Wow– Just a second after searching I found this.


    FTC Accepts Settlements of Charges that “Alternative” Cigarette Ads Are Deceptive

    Settlements Require Companies to Disclose that Herbal Cigarettes Are Dangerous and that “No Additives” Does Not Mean a Safer Smoke.

    ………………………….END QUOTE.

    It appears that they have NOT learned!

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