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The home page of RIESTER's recent "Venomocity" youth tobacco campaign website. Courtesy image
Riester, with offices in SLC, snags anti-tobacco ad campaign
First Published Oct 08 2012 07:23 am • Last Updated Oct 09 2012 12:12 pm

The Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products has picked Arizona-based Riester and five other agencies to produce advertisements for a national campaign to convince kids to shun tobacco and smokers to quit.

Riester, a full-service marketing firm specializing in advertising, public relations, public affairs and Web marketing, has offices in Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.

At a glance

Tobacco facts

Deaths » Cigarette smoking is responsible for 443,000 deaths each year in the United States

Sickness » More than 8.5 million Americans have smoking-related chronic illnesses

Costs » Medical expenses and lost productivity due to premature death total $193 billion annually

Life expectancy » Adult smokers die, on average, 13 years to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers

Users » Virtually all new smokers are younger than 18 — too young to legally buy cigarettes

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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The campaign, paid for through fees the FDA is charging tobacco companies, will feature television and print ads, and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The maximum ceiling for the contract is $390 million over a period of five years.

Riester’s past ads run in Arizona, Colorado and Louisiana, including the "Tumor Causing, Teeth Staining, Smelly, Puking Habit" campaign and its most recent "Venomocity" youth tobacco prevention campaign (brought to you by addiction, it says), helped propel the company to the final selection, its executives say.

Other firms selected were WPP’s Grey Global Group and True North Communications (DraftFCB), both based in New York; Mullen Communications of Boston; Interpublic Group’s Campbell-Ewald of Michigan; and the American Legacy Foundation, based in Washington D.C.

The American Legacy Foundation was created in 1999 as part of the Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco industry and 46 states, including Utah.

Riester’s "Tumor Causing, Teeth Staining, Smelly, Puking Habit" campaign was originally created for Arizona in 1996. The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enlisted that work to support the prevention of tobacco consumption nationwide.

In Utah, Riester produced the "End Meth Now" campaign in 1999 to educate residents about the effects of methamphetamine use. "End Meth Now," a $2 million integrated campaign, was part of then-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness and combat meth use in the state.

"End Meth Now" components included television, radio and print advertisements in English and Spanish. The first phase was designed to educate residents on how to identify the early warning signs of meth use. The second focused on hope and recovery, and how loved ones could help users overcome their addictions.

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