What is BADvertising| BADvertising Goals | How It Works
Why It Works | Why we need to BADvertise


What is BADvertising?

BADvertising is the act of "doctoring-up" misleading ads to create a more accurate picture.


By superimposing an honest image over a dishonest ad, the truth of the matter becomes very clear.

The BADvertising images answer the question:

"What would this ad look like if it were really telling the truth?"


The act of BADvertising can be accomplished by:

  • Physically cutting and pasting the ads,
  • Manipulating the images on a computer screen, or
  • Correcting the images in your own mind every time you see a deceptive or misleading ad.

While many products and their advertisers are willfully misleading the public with deliberately deceptive advertising,

no deception is currently more blatant that of the tobacco industry---


And nowhere are the consequences
so deadly!


The BADvertising Institute is dedicated to immunizing young people against deceitful, seductive tobacco tactics by giving them the skills for recognizing the "tobacco tricks" and mentally correcting the imagery whenever they see the ads.

Ultimately, in this way, every tobacco ad becomes its own counter-ad in the eye of the beholder.

NOTE: To Advertise means to make something known to the public.

For ease of discussion, an "ad" here includes any image, item, action, concept, or gimmick used to promote, market, or make us think favorably about a product, or about smoking in general, regardless of the medium. This includes:

  • Ads on billboards and in magazines
  • Brand names and logos on racing cars, cocktail napkins, clothing and personal accessories;
  • Smoking in movies, news, and TV programs;
  • Free cigarettes and give-away's in the bars;
  • "Public service" ads;
  • Activities by "front groups";
  • Gifts to schools, hospitals, arts groups, and other charities;
  • Lobbying activities;
  • Partnering with and associating themselves with otherwise respectable companies;
  • Funding and promoting biased or "junk science";
  • Corporate positioning; etc.


BADvertising is Truth through Contradiction

Cigarette advertisers will never
tell the truth...they can't.

The truth is deadly.



they promise us pleasure, fun, status, and glamour, and their idyllic images are accepted as a given; they are urban wallpaper. We see them; we do not question them.


Seeing is believing," we are told, but advertisements are created and composed, they are not candid photographs of real life. Children are exposed to these false images from the cradle, but the process through which the ads come into being is not visible to the eye of a small child...or any of us!

The "smooth" camel is apparently enjoying his smoke. He's real. He's cool. He's having fun.

TV and movies are creating the illusion that smoking is an acceptable activity and everybody's doing it.

Children have no idea who's being paid or pressured to give them these ideas. Without some kind of rude awakening, they grow up to be oblivious, complacent, addicted adults.

The BADvertising Institute is promulgating "honest" tobacco ads. They're designed to startle.

It is our contention that the young consciousness needs a little shaking-up, before we can ask the simple question, "What's really going on here?"

The images are a catalyst. They work.

UPDATE: When I began my BADvertising work in l986, advertising methods were different. Glamorous tobacco ads filled the billboards and magazines. They were everywhere. Now the tobacco billboards are illegal and the number of magazine ads has diminished.

But don't think that tobacco advertising has gone away. The tobacco companies are simply side-stepping the laws. Their tactics are becoming much more subtle and devious...and more difficult for the unaware to recognize.

It comes in the form of smoking in the movies, brands and logos on clothing and other everyday items, sponsorship of events from ballets to tractor pulls, corporate positioning, and even sponsoring banquets at prestigious institutions, where they receive their own trumped-up awards.

They've even duped the Pope into advertising their cigarettes for them!

He's thinks they've asked to talk to him about racing cars, but in fact, they're using his name and his highly esttemed position sanctify their cigarettes.

They're desparately trying to take the focus away from the terrible damage done by their deadly product by getting us to associate their logo with the Pope and his highly esteemed position. And the public buys into it...

Their "public service" announcements and so-called "tobacco prevention programs" telling kids not to smoke because smoking is an adult activity, naturally have the intended backlash effect.

Nobody wants to be told what to do; kids want to look like adults; and the public buys into their ruse.

So the tobacco companies win twice:

they get more kids to start smoking, and at the same time convince the public that tobacco companies are really conscientious corporate citizens, worthy of their respect.


The forms may be more subtle today, but their intent remains the same... to seduce more young people into a lifetime addiction to tobacco and thereby increase their profits.


The BADvertising process continues to give visual form to the truth behind deceitful advertising tactics.

To learn how to BADvertise by creating your own honest ads, click here.

What is BADvertising| BADvertising Goals | How It Works
Why It Works | Why we need to BADvertise

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© 1995, 2000, 2005 Bonnie Vierthaler