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A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on

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gregA question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 7:27:08 pm

Sorry, but after the previous thread I couldn't help myself. Seriously though, we contacted by a company that manufactures and promotes tobacco products. Cough...cough. They are looking for us to produce a DVD loop featuring their company and products to play at trade shows.

I really despise the Phillip Morris ads we see on TV, and I'm personally anti-smoking. I run my business based on my values. How would you suggest I turn down this client/job? Are there any legal issues with explaining in writing why we won't work for them? Any thoughts?

By the way, I've worked for several women and men in corporate video for 20 years. As is the case with everyone else, the women were my boss. For the most part, i enjoyed working for women more than men. Less ego trips. Thanks.


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Steve WargoRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 9:24:19 pm

Tell them that you take pride in showing your client list to new, prospective clients and if you wanted a corporate version of Charles Manson or Richard Speck, you would be happy to include them in your circle.

At least Manson and Speck didn't charge their victims and then put them through years of suffering. A little blade work and it was all over.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Steve WargoA little more...
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 9:47:09 pm

We've turned down jobs from head shops, adult stores, condom shops and escort services. There is no way in hell that we would take tobacco money.

I don't see any adds for Winston on the COW.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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beenyweeniesRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 10:03:04 pm

Personally, I would just tell them that your company does not accept projects that may in any way be considered morally questionable, to avoid the risk of losing current/future customers. If you are polite you don't slam any doors (your contact there may go on to work for a better company and keep you in mind) and will make the point without feeling like a jerk.

I think it's very important for studios to maintain a certain ethical standard, and bravo to you for being willing to turn it down. Some shops seem to take any work they can get no matter how immoral or depraved.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Steve WargoRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 10:47:17 pm

Well stated. It's tough to turn down money but life's not always about money, is it. Some other job will follow soon that will more than offset the difference.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Timothy J. AllenRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 10:58:18 pm

Do you really have to even give them a reason? Why not a simple, "Sorry, we can not support that particular campaign at this time."

I believe that being true to your convictions is more important than a paycheck, and I admire your choice.

I wonder though, would you do it if it was for Kraft Cheese? (They are owned by Phillip Morris - last time I checked.)


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Marco SolorioRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 11:55:00 pm

[Timothy J. Allen] "I wonder though, would you do it if it was for Kraft Cheese? (They are owned by Phillip Morris - last time I checked.)"

It's funny you mention that. I was going to mention something along those lines as well. I had a girlfriend that used to work for Kraft yet she despised Philip Morris (her father died with the help if cigarettes and her mom's not doing too well on them either).

Personally I'd take up a Kraft pudding spot, but I'd never accept a tobacco project. It still amazes me the tobacco industry can still get away with so much.



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beenyweeniesRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 11, 2007 at 12:08:34 am

I was going to open this can o' worms as well. When you get down to it, where should the line be drawn? Of course that always depends on personal convictions, but at what point are you contributing to bad mojo in the world vs. merely earning a living? Personally, I loathe pharmaceutical companies and 99% of the crap they peddle nonstop on TV, but that industry provides a decent amount of work to our industry. I recently accepted a project for a particularly unsavory pharm, marketing a drug that was essentially being positioned to replace a common vitamin. Given that the PHARM lobby spends big money trying to discredit vitamin use every chance they get, this was a bitter pill to swallow if you'll pardon the lame pun.

Immoral? Just paying bills? Hard to say, but it didn't feel good. I probably will turn down more jobs that conflict with my values once I can better afford to. In the meantime, maybe I will just charge them a karma-markup.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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walter biscardiRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 11, 2007 at 3:39:44 pm

[greg] "I really despise the Phillip Morris ads we see on TV, and I'm personally anti-smoking. I run my business based on my values. How would you suggest I turn down this client/job? Are there any legal issues with explaining in writing why we won't work for them? Any thoughts?"

Very simply you can tell them you cannot take on any additional work at this time. You don't have to give them any reason other than that.

No hard feelings or uncomfortable discussions needed.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Joe RugbyRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 11, 2007 at 4:06:50 pm

I agree with Walter; you've probably done more good by discussing this here versus the well worded letter you would have labored over and sent to a client that wouldn't have given your concerns a second thought.

Cheers,

Joe

L.O.A.


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John DavidsonRe: A question most smokers and non-smokers will differ on
by on Aug 11, 2007 at 11:36:04 pm

Hey guys,

It's not cigarettes, but I used to feel a little skeezy when I'd make promos advocating kids watch cartoons on Saturday mornings. I was REALLY good at it, too, which made it worse.

I would rationalize it by saying "hey, if those kids lived in the valley and played outside instead of watching tv, they'd have to breathe the exhaust from my 4Runner and develop emphysema, get sunburn induced melanoma, and be exposed to the neighborhood's convicted pedophiles we set loose to make room for all the aids and cancer victims we incarcerated for smoking marijuana.

When you look at it like that, it makes watching a Toons indoors a little more appealing. Hey, I think I just came up with a new promo!!! I wonder if S&P will go for the "Watch Cartoons and Don't Get Molested" spin....

In all seriousness, in LA people love to make porn. I have worked with alot of editors who, after a time, confessed to having worked in porn. I personally have not, and have always turned down offers which thankfully have not been often. I also advise people not to work in it. It looks awful on the resume and just imagine explaining to St. Peter at the pearly gates how "On Golden Blonde" was merely artistic expression.

Tobacco? I'd avoid it. I'm trying to quit as it is. I'd find the worst editor I know and refer the client to him (or Her!!!!!).



"Cash money, all films cost exactly $2,148."
-Bowfinger

John Davidson____ writer | producer | director____http://www.magicfeather.tv


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gregTHANKS ALL!
by on Aug 13, 2007 at 11:10:33 pm

As always this is the place to come to get the best advice in the industry. I took Walter's approach and wrote the folks a short note saying that we can not take on any additional work at this time. His response was "thanks". No harm, no foul, no lectures.

Thanks again everyone who contributed. Have a good one!


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