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Governor doesn’t like use of Seattle, Mount Rainier in Camel marketing campaign

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm with 31 Comments »
November 30, 2010 2:21 pm

Gov. Chris Gregoire is calling on R.J. Reynolds to pull its use of Seattle and Mount Rainier as icons in its “Break Free Adventure” marketing campaign, which features a tour of America’s hip locales.

The Governor’s statement this morning follows a similar protest by officials in San Francisco, whose Haight neighborhood is also being featured in the campaign.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

“Joe Camel may have been put out to pasture, but his spirit lives on in R.J. Reynolds’ latest marketing campaign that once again tries to make Camel cigarettes cool, fun and rebellious – and appealing to kids. The new campaign cynically uses the names and images of trendy U.S. destinations, including Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, in an attempt to make Camel cigarettes cool again.”

Here is our governor’s statement:

Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Washington landmarks used in tobacco campaign
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on R.J. Reynolds’ latest marketing campaign that uses Washington landmarks to promote tobacco products:

“I am alarmed and disappointed at R.J. Reynolds’ new marketing campaign which exploits the name and image of Seattle to recruit young smokers. Special edition cigarette packs featuring Washington landmarks, including the Pike Place Market and Mt. Rainier, are being co-opted to sell a product that is responsible for killing about 7,500 people in our state every year.

“We have worked hard to help people break free from tobacco addiction and the suffering and death it causes individuals and families. Washington has 320,000 fewer adult smokers and 65,000 fewer youth smokers than before we started our Tobacco Prevention and Control Program 10 years ago.


“This campaign threatens to destroy these gains by claiming that their cigarettes are an opportunity ‘for a glowing future’ when the opposite is true–they are a one-way ticket to disease and addiction.

“I call on R.J. Reynolds to halt their cynical campaign and not use our local landmarks for their gain.”
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Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. fbergford says:

    Gregoire…don’t worry about this! YOu need to focus on balancing our state budget and govornering our state! That’s it!

  2. surveyor1 says:

    Thats one of the big problems with our govenor. She only picks the low hanging fruit. It’s so much easier to ban Four Loco and blast the tobacco companies than it is do do any real meaningful work like say…balance the budget!

  3. metallica_fan_7 says:

    I call on Gov. Gregoire to halt her cynical campaign and not use our taxes for her gain.

  4. surveryor1 and fbergford

    How much time do you think Gregoire actually “wasted” making that statement? 15 minutes? And you suggest that it is taking away her time of trying to balance the budget? Do you just ignore budget related articles that also came out in the past 2 days that talk about what Gregoire is trying to do?


    Personally I am fine with that brief statement. And if you are worried about budget balancing, how much health care does the state cover to treat patients that suffer from smoking related disease and cancer? You don’t see a healthy public as a way to cut health care costs?

  5. lovethemountains says:

    Fifteen minutes? Nothing the governor does gets done in a fifteen minute time frame. Of course, she did not author that statement herself so staffer(s) spent time on the piece. More that fifteen minutes, I would venture.

  6. I totally agree with the governor and hope that RJ Reynolds cuts us out of their ad campaign.

  7. I thimk Gov. Chris “now is not the time to raise taxes” Gregoire is worried that Joe Camel will run this state into the dirt before she and Patty Murray can.

  8. AreYouHighOrWhat says:

    THIS is the priority? How about we get ILLEGALS out of our schools and state, and see if that helps the budget crisis. Ragging about a cigarette ad isn’t going to do much to fix the much bigger problems our state faces, or am I missing something? Oh, and gee whiz, why wasn’t she concerned about that vodka company running ads depicting a map of AZTLAN with it’s product, a map that showed most of Washington as part of the Hispanics long lost heritage.

    Priorities *heavy sigh*

  9. tacomajoe says:

    She doesn’t complain about the state taking a cut of every pack of smokes sold.

    I’m sure a lobbyist’s donation to Gregoire or a new table for the governor’s mansion will have Chrissie looking the other way.

  10. BlaineCGarver says:

    Chris, get a life, and start worrying about what’s important, like how you are going to dig us out of a budget nightmare that YOU and you rminons put us into. Pictures of Washington are in the public domain, so MYOB and do
    your job…. Hopefully only until the next election, unless you can steal the next one, too…

  11. BlaineCGarver says:

    Don’t forget that the state of Washington wasted about a billion of the dollars it got from the tobacco settlement. It was supposed to go for health and education about smoking, but the sods just put it in the general fund to spend on their favorite projects to make them look better. I so detest the leadership of this state…..

  12. BlaineCGarver says:

    ReeseBw: studies show that smoking favors the budget, it cuts life short enough that it saves money in the long run. I kid thee not. Medical mistakes kill more people than tobacco.

  13. ppaulville says:

    This is the same Christine Gregoire that sold the state’s $5 billion tobacco settlement for $1.5 billion in cash. Then she put the money into the general fund rather than use it for tobacco education, which is what it was supposed to be used for. Now she’s complaining about tobacco marketing? At this point, Gregoire talking about tobacco should be met with the same skepticism as Bush talking about economics.

  14. ItalianSpring says:

    This is important dammit!

  15. BlaineCGraver is correct, is this not the same governor that was once attorney general , who if I’m right spearheaded the gigantic lawsuit against tabacco companies, I think all states did, and after getting a time -structured ruling have since taken a reduced settlement payment for the general fund! You know (the JG Wentworth plan.) ” It’s my money ,and I want it now”. In which case the tabacco companies simply passed the cost back to the consumers anyway. And how many tax increases have there been on tabacco products since then, even a major increase sometime recently , so maybe she should file suit again. And to “tuddo says” You are just overwhelmingly brilliant ,(not).

  16. sndmnpja says:

    Gregoire needs to worry about the abortion she’s made of this state’s budget, not RJ Reynolds using a picture. I suppose she thinks this will earn her some goodwill with the voters in our state, but typically she doesn’t have a clue. It’s too bad she didn’t get that job in DC then we’d be rid of her!

  17. dbreneman says:

    It’s nice to see that all of our state’s real problems have been solved, and our wise government leaders now have time to devote to non-issues like this.

    Here’s a little hint for the Governor: The state government does not own this state. It can’t dictate whether others reference it in their advertising. The state gets millions of dollars a year from cigarette taxes. Cut the hypocritical posturing.

    Our state government is in fact a money-making partner of the tobacco companies. If the government does not like being in the cancer business, it should stop taking the tobacco industry’s blood money and ban cigarettes outright.

  18. Novelist3 says:

    Well said, dbreneman;

  19. tree_guy says:

    Governor Gregoire’s Resume:

    Tobacco marketing campaign: expert
    Managing the affairs of state: not an expert

  20. Pat_riot says:

    What a hag.. trying to divert her inattentiveness to the state of our states economy over the last 6 years by focusing on her one success as an AG. Playing the “kids” card hoping that people will forget how she didn’t head the warnings of people like *gasp* Dino Rossi and other fiscally responsible people.. thinking the good times will last forever. PS-who the eff cares if they advertise.. get to governing not pretending you’re the AG again.

  21. DubyaFTW says:

    How about we start the budget cutting with your job, Chris?

  22. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Listen up Governor – I don’t like the fact that you are a traitorous socialist democrat who refuses to use a federally available Secure Communities program that will aid in the fight against illegal immigration!!! You should be impeached for aiding & abetting illegal immigration into the USA!!!!!

  23. Concernedfather says:

    I think our Governor must be a “closet smoker”…. of crack!

    Wag the dog, Chrissy, no one will catch on.

    We voters is reel dum, tell us wut ta be thinkin.

    I can tell you this much, “She does NOT represent me!”

  24. guidocarmasi says:


  25. Amen to everyone who commented on the illegal immigration problem. It’s a much more important issue than this tobacco ad business. This is a distraction from far more important and pressing matters.

  26. Why worry about smoking a Camel in Washington when people who ride them live here illegally !!!!

  27. BlaineCGarver says, “Medical mistakes kill more people than tobacco.” Even if that were true, which it certainly isn’t, would you then like to see Washington State used as the icon for the pro-medical mistakes crowd?

    USA Today reported this year that medical mistakes kill on average about 98,000 people in the US yearly and more than 443,000 in the US die from smoking every year, with an additional 50,000 dieing from second-hand smoke.

  28. tree_guy says:

    I’ll bet no one even noticed these Cigarette ads picturing Mt. Rainier until Governor Gregoire made a big stink. I don’t remember her making an issue of the Mt. Rainier picture on bottles on Rainier Beer. What’s the difference?

  29. thebestofthebest says:

    The last time they raised the tax on a pack of cigarettes, they lost 10 million a month. Know what’s really dumb? The time before that, when they raised the tax on cigarettes a dollar a pack, they lost, you-guessed-it, 10 million a month. I think they should raise the tax on cigarettes again to try to generate revenue!

  30. thebestofthebest says:

    She sure is tough.

    Like with, “I wish the voters would have helped us (me) out” two weeks ago, after the big, tax vote-downs, and the recent “The State can no longer be the safety net” speech. Practically a Five Star in my book !

    Brad Owen for Governor !!!!!!!

    Hey, think about it. He’s a Republocrat and he’s trying to get Washington off the hook for Obama Care?

    He’s not Dino and I’m sure Brad would at least “flinch” if he spoke into a camera and said… “We don’t have a budget deficit”.

    Don’t remember her saying that two years ago?

  31. fbergford says:

    reesebw is the only one that supported Gregoire on this issue! What’s wrong with you!?

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