Lorillard Loses

A Massachusetts jury has ordered cigarette maker Lorillard, Inc. to pay $71 million in damages to the family of a Boston woman who said she was seduced into smoking Newport cigarettes as a child. The plaintiff, Marie Evans, died from lung cancer at age 54, after smoking Newport cigarettes for 40 years. Before her death, she gave a videotaped deposition in which described how, starting at age nine, she received free samples of cigarettes from a man in a white truck who would drive through their neighborhood passing them out to children. Evans said the trucks "seemed to be there waiting when we got out of school." Evans' sister, Leslie Adamson, corroborated her testimony. Evans accepted some responsibility for never being able to quit her nicotine addiction, even after suffering a heart attack at age 37. Lorillard denied marketing cigarettes to children and targeting black communities with Newports.


How "Breast Cancer Awareness" Campaigns Hurt

Boobs string tankOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink ribbons abound at department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, shopping malls and many other places. But the big "awareness" push may be misplaced. After all, lung cancer kills twice as many women each year as breast cancer -- more women every year in the U.S. die from lung cancer than from breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers combined. In 2009 alone, 31,000 more women died of lung cancer than breast cancer. But there aren't any ribbons, theme-colored products, corporate promotions, colored car magnets, festivals or fundraisers to make people aware of lung cancer's devastating toll, or to support lung cancer victims or raise money for a cure.

Why not?

Honda Buys the Rose Parade

New Honda Rose Parade LogoAfter 121 years as an independent event, the iconic New Year's Day Rose Parade has sold its naming rights to the American Honda Motor Company, the U.S.-based headquarters of the Japanese car manufacturer. The name of the 2012 event will be "The 122nd Rose Parade, Presented by Honda." Honda will get the lead float in the parade, and full usage rights for the Tournament of Roses.


Netflix Hires Fake Crowd to Look Excited at Media Event

NetflixNetflix kicked off the introduction of its streaming-entertainment service into Canada by closing off a street in downtown Toronto and holding a splashy media event. Excited people thronged the street, but journalists were unaware that many of the people were "extras," hired and paid by Netflix to act like excited consumers.


Wow, Nice Tibias

XRayPinupGirlThe EIZO Company of Japan is a relatively obscure manufacturer of x-ray monitors and medical imaging displays, but thanks to the work of the Butter Advertising Agency in Berlin/Duesseldorf, Germany, the company is grabbing attention with a new promotional pinup calendar that shows everything -- and we mean everything. X-ray images of nude models posted on the Internet caused a viral storm of commenting and link-sharing.


Lauria Quit Cigarettes, But Now He's on the Bottle

Tom LauriaOld tobacco industry PR flacks don't go away, they just defend different products for money. So it is with former Tobacco Institute spokesman Thomas Lauria, who is now defending bottled water.

Seems benign enough. After all, fighting for water -- albeit in an over-commercialized, overpriced and polluting form -- instead of cigarettes would seem to be an improvement for Lauria. But just as he battled efforts to educate people about the health hazards of secondhand smoke, Lauria is now battling efforts to educate people about the hoax that is bottled water.

Eat, Prey, Spend

BPlogoThe movie "Eat, Pray, Love" is the story of a woman who travels the world in search of personal fulfillment, enlightenment and love. Despite the noticeably non-materialistic theme, though, Sony Pictures and Home Shopping Network (HSN) inked a deal to use the movie as a vehicle to hype an amazing amount of female-targeted merchandise. In the run-up to the film's August 13 release, HSN staged a three-day shopping event that showcased over 400 "Eat, Pray, Love" movie-related products including kitchenware, teas, jewelry, clothing, spices, shower gel, bed sheets, furnishings and cookware. Moviegoers are invited buy Eat, Pray, Love "I deserve Something Beautiful" T-shirts for a whopping $39.90 apiece, or an "Eat, Pray, Love" Sony Pocket Edition E-Reader with case for $229.95 (in three easy payments), a gelato maker, Sony laptop computers in movie-themed colors, gourmet candies, flat-panel TVs and much more.


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