Monday, June 04, 2007

Smoking, The Muppet Movie and Truth in Advertising

Friday night I was watching TV and ended up landing on MTV of all places. I can't say there is much that appeals to me on MTV these days, but they were showing "Shaun of the Dead," and I just can't resist that scene where the two guys are debating which Prince albums they are going to hurl at the heads of the approaching zombies (goodbye "Batman" soundtrack). During a commercial break, an anti-smoking ad came on.

I tried to embed the ad but when I copied the code I got a weird karate video you'll have to go to the website for whuda*xup to check it out. Click on videos and then look for the video called "Puppet TV."

The ad makes claims about tobacco companies marketing to kids and uses as an example that some unnamed company paid to place their products in "The Muppet Movie." Being a puppeteer and a huge Muppet fan, the ad caught my attention. First I had to stop and think where there was smoking in "The Muppet Movie." Perhaps in the El Sleazo Cafe scene, maybe the frog hunter character, and I think Orson Welles smokes a cigar in his cameo at the end. That's all I could come up with (I didn't actually check my copy of the movie yet). Of course, the Muppets don't do any smoking.

I don't like smoking. I think it's disgusting. I'm all for trying to discourage people from smoking, but this ad is just plain misleading. These folks are really going out of their way to try and make their point...I mean "The Muppet Movie" came out in 1979! 28 years ago! Are they actually suggesting that a generation of cigar smokers was birthed because they saw Orson Welles sucking on a stogie while he chats with Kermit?!? It's becoming the view that the mere sight of a cigarette encourages people to smoke. I guess I must have incredible will power because God only knows how many times I've watched "The Muppet Movie."

And by the way, WhudaHXup with calling the website for this organization Whuda*xup? That's just plain vulgar and unnecessary.


Andrew said...

Wow, interesting video. Aren't they about three decades too late with this nonsense though?

JJ said...

I also think that smoking is gross and dangerous, but there are huge holes in the reasoning behind this video. First of all, they're assuming that only children watch the Muppets. Most of the jokes in the Muppet Movie are aimed at adults. (example - "they don't look presbeterian to me...") Second of all, unless i'm mistaken, none of the Muppets smoked, just wierd old guys. I'm pretty sure that if the dude from whatda*xup dressed up like a wierd old guy, the kids wouldn't have liked him so much. So, as much as like their anti-smoking enthusiasm, i don't think that they should pick on the Muppets like that. Wow, i really know how to rant...