ALF stresses 'how' in new antismoking push

WASHINGTON: The American Legacy Foundation (ALF), the nonprofit, public-health group that created the "Truth" anti-tobacco campaign, is kicking off the second leg of its new smoking-cessation campaign, EX, targeting adults 35 to 55.

WASHINGTON: The American Legacy Foundation (ALF), the nonprofit, public-health group that created the "Truth" anti-tobacco campaign, is kicking off the second leg of its new smoking-cessation campaign, EX, targeting adults 35 to 55.

EX, which is launching in four markets, is focused on showing smokers how to quit, as opposed to why they should quit.

"Some campaigns try to jolt smokers into realizing they should stop smoking," said Joseph Martyak, EVP of marketing communications and public policy for the ALF. "EX is not about that. The 70% of smokers who want to quit, they already know why, but they are totally frustrated on how to quit."

As part of the campaign, ALF is teaming with NBC's The Biggest Loser reality show on smoking-cessation efforts that will focus on the adverse health factors of smoking. Smokers will also be directed to the EX Web site, www.BecomeAnEX.org.

"The marketing we're doing for this, if scaled up to a national level, would be the equivalent of a $20 million effort," Martyak said. ALF is working with GolinHarris and The Ad*itive.

EX just finished its three-week stint in Buffalo and will launch in San Antonio, TX, this week. The ALF effort is expected to reach the national level in late 2007.

Aside from Buffalo and San Antonio, EX will appear in Grand Rapids, MI, and Baltimore, cities chosen for their ability to provide priority demographics and their incidence of adult smokers. "Our demographic is very blue collar and they consume a lot of media," said Martyak.

An ad campaign, primarily TV and radio spots, showing the lures of smoking will accompany the push. Ads were designed by Austin, TX-based GSD&M.

Materials for the campaign, which were produced by the Mayo Clinic, will appear in groceries and large department stores in each of the test markets. All materials direct smokers to the EX Web site and the national quit line, (800) QUIT-NOW, where visitors can find information on how to quit.

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