a couple of times a month, i kill a few trees when the magazines i subscribe to show up in my mailbox. i love fashion magazines; over the years i’ve gone from seventeen to elle to marie claire and glamour.
i was eating dinner and perusing my newest issue of glamour when i became aware of one of those card-stock insert things. you know, the ones that make it really annoying to read your magazines because it makes the pages stick up instead of lie flat? so i flipped the pages until i came to the offending insert, only to discover it was an advertisement for…cigarettes.
one of the things i’ve come to love about glamour is its commitment to showing women how to be healthy and lovely and wonderful. there was such a ruckus caused by the woman on page 197 in a past issue that they hired her again, for a full fashion spread (said model had a belly pooch. and she wasn’t stick thin.) the magazine regularly has features on healthy eating, sensible work out routines, and little mood boosters designed to keep you from going all anorexic on the world. it’s awesome and refreshing.
so when i see an ad for american spirit cigarettes, my first thought is, “hypocritical much?” this is not something i’d expect from a publication that’s all about promoting health, and even going so far as to publish articles about the dangers of smoking. i don’t care that their tobacco is organically grown, or that there are no additives in their cigarettes. we’re playing the sesame street game, with the song “which of these things belong together?” and that ad just does not belong.
i surfed on over to glamour‘s website, and clicked on the “contact us” link, and sent them this message:
“one of the things i love about glamour is the approach to health and beauty. you provide articles and tips for women to strive for and maintain a realistic and healthy way of life. so when i see the ad for american spirit cigarettes, the first question that comes to mind is “hypocritical much?”
harsh, yes. and i can understand that in this economy, every dollar counts. but do you really need to stoop low enough to allow that into your publication? please don’t do it. we all know cigarettes are bad for you. and those ads just don’t belong in glamour.”
and i meant every word of it. i can understand, on some level, the almost desparate need for revenue. the recession hurt everyone, and sometimes, you have to take the money from whomever is going to give it, no matter the source. but it’s hard to see something like this, when i feel like it goes against everything they’re working so hard to achieve in an industry where your image is king.
five minutes later, this reply showed up in my inbox:
Thank you for writing to Glamour to comment on the cigarette ad in the current issue. As always, we appreciate hearing from our readers, and we have forwarded your letter to our health and senior editors, including Editor-In-Chief Cindi Leive, the advertising department and Publisher William J. Wackermann.
Glamour has always been and is still deeply committed to women’s well-being. The magazine devotes a great deal of resources to covering new medical discoveries and health risks for young women. We consistently caution women on the dangers of smoking and have won numerous awards for our accurate, pro-woman health coverage. In 2003, the American Medical Association awarded the President’s Prize for Tobacco Reporting to Glamour for our feature, “How to Save Your Life.” (Incidentally, that prize is reserved for magazines that also run tobacco advertising, the intent being to reward independent journalism.) That having been said, the decision of whether or not to smoke is ultimately an individual’s choice—and tobacco advertising to adult populations (like those who read Glamour) is fully legal.
We thank you for taking the time to write to us. Please know that we take your opinions seriously, and we will continue to do so as we make plans for the future.
it makes me wonder how many other people have complained about it. (oh, and i don’t care that cigarette advertising is legal. that wasn’t my point.) they certainly haven’t published any letters if someone HAS written in about it. while i’d like to hope that my little snarky voice will be heard and they’ll stop putting that crap into my magazine, i honestly don’t know if they care.