More doctors smoke Camels
than any other cigarette!

There’s much to learn from this cigarette advertisement.
Begin with the premise that advertising is a unique vehicle of commercial communications: It gets the right message to the right people at the right time for the right cost.

What is the right mes­sage and who are the right peo­ple tar­get­ed by this adver­tise­ment? Camel is not sell­ing cig­a­rettes to doc­tors although there will be some response from doc­tors at the tobac­co counter. The tar­get audi­ence is broad­er than that.

Could the mes­sage have been cre­at­ed in response to throat prob­lems result­ing from smok­ing? It looks that way! The adver­tise­ment admits that cig­a­rette smok­ing affects smok­ers’ throats. The mes­sage rais­es the ques­tion of throat prob­lems com­mon to smok­ers. Is the read­er hav­ing throat prob­lems? Not to wor­ry, the “T‑Zone” test will tell. The T‑Zone — T for taste and T for throat—is the reader’s prov­ing ground for cigarettes.

How then can the copy­writer frame the mes­sage for the right peo­ple? Cre­ate an adver­tise­ment that tells read­ers that smoker’s throat is not some­thing that the med­ical pro­fes­sion is con­cerned about – not even nose and throat spe­cial­ists Tell read­ers that 113,597 doc­tors were asked about smok­ing and more of them named Camel as their smoke infer­ring that doc­tors didn’t dis­ap­prove of smok­ing because they them­selves smoked and Camel was their favorite.

Here’s the main copy
in the advertisement:

Fam­i­ly physi­cians, sur­geons, diag­nos­ti­cians, nose and throat spe­cial­ist, doc­tors in every branch of medicine…a total of 113,597 doctors…were asked the ques­tion: “What cig­a­rette do you smoke?”

And more of them named Camel as their smoke than any oth­er cigarette!

Three inde­pen­dent research groups found this to be a fact.

You see, doc­tors too smoke for plea­sure. That full Camel fla­vor is just as appeal­ing to a doctor’s taste as to yours…that mar­velous Camel mild­ness means as much to his throat as to yours. Next time, get Camels. Com­pare them in your “T‑Zone”.

To fur­ther prove sin­cer­i­ty, the R. J. Reynolds Tobac­co Co, devot­ed  more than half the page to com­mend doc­tors, telling that “…it took a min­i­mum of $15,000 and 7 years’ hard work and study  (for the hand­some doc­tor and his pret­ty wife) to get him there!” To become a doc­tor that is.

The World Health Organization had this to say
in 2005 about The Role of Health Professionals
in Tobacco Control

Health pro­fes­sion­als have a promi­nent role to play in tobac­co con­trol. They have the trust of the pop­u­la­tion, the media and opin­ion lead­ers, and their voic­es are heard across a vast range of social, eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal arenas.

At the indi­vid­ual lev­el, they can edu­cate the pop­u­la­tion on the harms of tobac­co use and expo­sure to sec­ond-hand smoke. They can also help tobac­co users over­come their addiction.

At the com­mu­ni­ty lev­el, health pro­fes­sion­als can be ini­tia­tors or sup­port­ers of some of the pol­i­cy mea­sures described above, by engag­ing, for exam­ple, in efforts to pro­mote smoke-free work­places and extend­ing the avail­abil­i­ty of tobac­co ces­sa­tion resources.

At the soci­ety lev­el, health pro­fes­sion­als can add their voice and their weight to nation­al and glob­al tobac­co con­trol efforts like tax increase cam­paigns and become involved at the nation­al lev­el in pro­mot­ing the WHO Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Tobac­co Con­trol (WHO FCTC).

In addi­tion, health pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions can show lead­er­ship and become a role mod­el for oth­er pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions and soci­ety by embrac­ing the ten­ants of the Health Pro­fes­sion­al Code of Prac­tice on Tobac­co Control.

Camel’s promised
“more puffs per cigarette.”

Read about it here

Noth­ing in this adver­tise­ment on the back page of Collier’s, March 30, 1946, would be believ­able today. Hope­ful­ly!  It should­n’t have been believed back then. Again, as was com­mon with cig­a­rette adver­tis­ing, there is the “recent Nation­al Sur­vey” that sur­veyed 113,597 doc­tors. Who con­duct­ed the sur­vey? Why was it con­duct­ed? When? How?  Where can we read the respons­es to that survey?

We can ask the same ques­tions of the “three inde­pen­dent research groups that found this to be a fact.” What was the “fact” that they found?

Was this an accept­able cre­ative response through adver­tis­ing to a prob­lem attrib­ut­able to smok­ing. You be the judge.

A detailed exam­i­na­tion by Martha N. Gard­ner, PhD and Allan M. Brandt, PhD, of the claims that cig­a­rette com­pa­nies made about smok­ing and physi­cians, was pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Pub­lic Health, Feb­ru­ary 2006:  “The Doc­tor’s Choice is Amer­i­ca’s Choice” The Physi­cian in US Cig­a­rette Adver­tise­ments, 1930—1953