Vox Pop

The European Union is to introduce a series of graphic visual images to cigarette packs to try to ‘shock people out of their complacency’ about the effects of smoking. How effective do you think Belgian design group Chili Con Carne’s designs will be and h

‘In this day and age we are always being told every minute of the day what we can’t do, what’s bad for us and generally feeling like life is one long instruction. As shocking as these images are, smokers still smoke and images like this don’t work any more. While I don’t condone smoking, why not have a campaign that tells people to smoke more as this may make people do the opposite, as we all want to be a rebel? Designers can contribute by not designing ashtrays any more.’

Ian Silverstein, Managing director, Creative Action Design

‘Images of death and dying don’t work. We know that smoking can kill us, but this hasn’t stopped millions of us from lighting up – death is too abstract for it to frighten us. Highlighting the pain and suffering that smoking causes to the “living”, ie taking the hidden medical horrors and showing the physical effects in a very clinical way, is far more effective than clever advertising metaphors – after all this is anti-advertising.’

Marcus Jones, Partner, Dunning Eley Jones

‘Ditch the words. Smokers are so inured to the anti-smoking message that any words just get in the way of those hideous images. That would be my first design test for an image: if it isn’t self-explanatorily gruesome it shouldn’t be there. What else could designers do? Surely some funky young graphico out there could come up with a retro-Darth Vader inhalation system? Something that looks great (modest compensation for the whole terminal disease trade-off), but protects non-smokers along the way.’

Martin Hennessey, Managing director, TheWriter.co.uk

‘Any sort of nanny state-isms make me do the opposite. I am a free person, I know right from wrong, I have a choice. If I wanted the state to control my mind I’d go and live in California. Thing is they wouldn’t have me, I AM A SMOKER… And that’s the thing: “Just say no” didn’t work for the hardened smackhead and these images, although graphically gross, won’t convert a smoker. But where it will hopefully work is for the future generations. As my six-year-old keeps telling me: “Daddy, smoking kills!”.’

Adrian Keane, Chief executive, Keane Brands

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