Legislative and Issue Advocacy
2020 - Award Winning Campaign To Stop Flavored Tobacco Including Menthol
The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids hired Foundation Public, LLC to oversee strategy and media for the award winning campaign to pass SB 793 which made national headlines as California became the first large state and second in the country to stop the sale of flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes. Outspent by the Tobacco Industry 5 to 1 and by over $10 million, Foundation Public, LLC ran an asymmetric earned and paid media campaign that directly called out the systemic racism of the tobacco industry. The California campaign won two national awards in powering a fierce lobbying effort led by Greg Campbell to deliver a stunning victory against Big Tobacco with bi-partisan majorities in both houses of the legislature including a 34-0 vote in the Senate.
Foundation Public teamed with SixFootah The Poet and CateComm to create the jarring and effective video “Enough is Enough” that captured first place nationally in the Pollie Awards, “The Oscars of Political Advertising”. The video helped the campaign win the messaging war on race that Big Tobacco had invested millions on and pinned their hopes of carving out menthol cigarettes from the legislation.
Foundation Public and CateComm also won second place in the nation at the Pollie Awards for the series of ads including “Old Trick”, “Vultures”, and “Look Out” that reframed the issue as “candy” flavored tobacco with minty-sweet menthol as “the original candy flavor” using cognitive science and linguistics framing methods developed by FrameLab founders Gil Duran and George Lakoff with Chris Lehman in San Francisco in 2018. This framing on television and digital video was reinforced with targeted and effective direct mail developed by Foundation Public and Baughman and Merrill timed before key legislative votes.