To: Richard P. Vantaggio, Chairman, Marketing, Promotions & Research, Big Alcohol, Inc.
From: Edward A. Bevand, CEO, Big Alcohol, Inc.
RE: Project: Big Tobacco Obfuscation
Congratulations on an amazing series of campaigns against the big tobacco companies! It now appears ingrained in the social consciousness of the country that cigarettes, cigars and pipes are to blame for a host of physical and social ills. Tobacco is bad for you, of course, yet if they only knew about our dirty little secret! I must say, though, Dick, that deflecting attention away from alcohol-related problems by promoting attacks on the tobacco industry was a stroke of pure genius! I never thought that the general public would buy into such a ‘health-centered’ campaign, nor that your capable people could steer attention so expertly away from the number three killer, taking over 100,000 lives each year. And not only were you able to divert attention from the fact that about 65 out of every 100 persons in the U. S. will be in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetimes, or that alcoholism alone causes approximately 500 million lost workdays per year, but no one appears aware to this day that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the third leading cause of birth defects. We wouldn’t want any of that getting out to the regular public, now would we? In the midst of all these public relations hurdles to overcome, I was amazed to find that you’ve even got hard liquor advertising back on network television! Brilliant!
I don’t believe I need to tell you of the need to keep our critical information and statistics out of the media spotlight. If they knew how dangerous alcohol really was, it would make tobacco look like a freaking health food, for crying out loud, not to mention the fact that our playful advertising with buxom beauties and raw humor would ring just a bit hollow. Did you see the one during the super bowl with the streaking goat at the animal football game? Hilarious! And decisively not at all what real drunks are like at all. I understand an unofficial AOL poll of web visitors rated it #1. That’s just what we need to keep people drinking and not thinking,
Which brings me to the reason for writing you. Dick, it’s the future. Where do we go from here? I don’t need to remind you of the lackluster performance of your predecessor’s campaigns against red meat, carbohydrate’s, and sodium. Oh, they did O.K. in the beginning, but were soon dismissed. The attacks on big tobacco are hard act to follow. Who would have thought that bars and pubs would be required to ban smoking in over a dozen states today, while still dispensing our liquid gold to drunk driver’s everywhere. Dick, we’ve got to come up with something soon. Who knows how much longer tobacco can take all the heat? We’ve got prohibition’s failure to fall back on, but we all know that’s not going to last long if congress thinks their constituents want action. I don’t mean to put your feet to the fire, Dick, but time is of the essence. Let me know as soon as you can of any possible ideas to deflect and divert public attention away from the truth. Speaking of which, you should probably also burn this memo the moment you receive it. Secrecy is of the utmost importance. Can you imagine the fallout if they knew?