The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5002.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #45065

What is the truth: An overview of campaign objectives and strategies

M. Lyndon Haviland, DrPH and Jane Appleyard. American Legacy Foundation, 1001 G Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20001

The American Legacy Foundation's truthsm campaign is the largest anti-smoking mass media campaign ever conducted. “truth” TV and print commercials feature “edgy” youth who are on the cutting edge of trends, promotional items, street marketing, and a web site ( The “truth” campaign is a national multiethnic campaign, with special components to reinforce the campaign’s reach to African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Launched, in early 2000, the campaign has achieved very high levels of confirmed awareness among its primary target audience of 12-17 year olds, and secondary audience of 18-24 year olds.

The presentation reviews the key strategies underlying the campaign. A core premise of the truthsm campaign is that increasing youths’ awareness of tobacco industry practices can motivate young people to assert their independence by rejecting tobacco use. The campaign delivers stark facts about tobacco and tobacco industry practices and uses hard-hitting ads featuring youth confronting the tobacco industry. This rebellious rejection of tobacco and tobacco advertising channels youths’ need to assert their independence while countering tobacco marketing efforts

The campaign encourages positive images about not smoking by developing truthsm as an aspirational "brand" that can compete with tobacco brands. When youth adopt these beliefs, teens are less likely to be open to smoking and thus are less likely to begin smoking or become established smokers

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Media Campaigns

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Legacy’s Truth(sm) Campaign: Understanding the Effectiveness of Truth(sm) as a Brand

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA