Boston Herald – Not the Globe – Gets Family Juul Ads

August 6, 2018

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Juul Labs are currently arm-wrestling over kids and e-cigarettes.

Two weeks ago the AG went public with her concerns about teens being the target of Juul e-cig ads, as the Boston Globe’s Jerome Campbell reported.

AG suspects e-cigarette maker JUUL of marketing to minors

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has begun investigating the popular vaping company JUUL Labs Inc., saying that it appears to be marketing its products to minors.

“Just when teen cigarette use has hit a record low, ‘juuling’ and vaping have become an epidemic in our schools with products that seem targeted to get young people hooked on nicotine,” Healey said at a news conference Tuesday.

The company’s vaping devices are designed to appeal to young consumers, Healey said, with a sleek, high-tech appearance and a variety of protective skins that make them look like school supplies.

 

Healey’s investigation focuses on “whether California-based JUUL adequately monitors its website ‘to see how effective they are at preventing minors from accessing JUUL or JUUL compatible products.’” Campbell notes that according to a 2016 US surgeon general report, e-cigareete use among high school students spiked 900% between 2011 and 2015.

(It says a lot that high schoolers have verbified “juul,” as Jia Tolentino points out in this smart New Yorker piece.)

Meanwhile, Juul Labs is in the middle of a campaign that is, according to a spokeswoman, “committed to providing parents with key facts about JUUL, vaping and nicotine. To that end, we selected a handful of print, digital and radio outlets initially in a variety of markets across the country, including Boston, and we will look at other outlets in the future.”

(For more from the company, see this press release.)

The print outlet here is the Boston Herald, where this full-page ad has run four or five times in the past month.

Of course the “cigarettes are for adults” is the oldest reverse-psychology gambit in the tobacco industry playbook, but why get technical about it.

A companion series of ads prominently features 1) adults, and 2) the potential public health benefits for America’s forty million smokers.

 

 

The ad points you to juul.com/pat for that guy’s story, but good luck cutting through the cyberhaze there.

So back to the “What Parents Need to Know About JUUL” campaign, which entails “[an] initial investment of $30 million over the next three years dedicated to independent research, youth and parent education, and community engagement efforts.” It also entails this radio spot that provides parents with Juul Facts to pass on to their kids.

But here’s one fact Juul Labs doesn’t mention, via this piece from Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin.

Adult customers say they find the high nicotine content as satisfying as conventional cigarettes, but the Juul also has a growing number of teen fans, whose developing brains are uniquely vulnerable to addiction. Those teens could become a new generation of smokers, researchers warn.

“This is really the genie you can’t put back in the bottle,” Matthew Myers , the president of the nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told Business Insider.

 

Or put back in the e-cig either.

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Skunk Already at the Prouty Garden?

March 21, 2016

 

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When we last left the tug-of-war over demolition of the Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital three weeks ago, it was pretty much in limbo.

There was a hearing before representatives of the Massachusetts Public Health Council, which has final authority over the project to replace the garden with a billion-dollar expansion.

And Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey had “declined a request by opponents to block Boston Children’s Hospital from building an 11-story addition where the beloved Prouty Garden currently sits,” according to a Boston Globe report.

And then . . . nothing.

Except this, yesterday, from splendid reader SFR:

The skunk at the party is the chainsaws that have ALREADY started taking down trees and bushes in the Prouty Garden, before the new building is even approved; this shows beyond a shadow of a doubt there is a very strong and real desire to destroy Prouty, whether a building goes up or not. The “Friends of Prouty” failed to anticipate this, and did not get a restraining order against the hospital to prevent this destruction. Even if the new building is denied by DPH, by the time the decision is made, what’s left of Prouty will be dirt and saw dust.

 

This is the way the Prouty Garden ends? Not with a bang but a whimper?


Boston Herald Wants No More-a Healey on DraftKings

September 18, 2015

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is living in a fantasy world.

She’s hot on the heels of the hot sports “contest” website DraftKings, which has spent $81 million on TV spots in the past six weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal. But that’s not keeping Healey from nickel-and-diming the DraftKingpins. She’s investigating whether the so-called fantasy sports site is actually a betting scheme in sheep’s clothing. And, as per usual, the Boston dailies see her quest quite differently.

The Boston Globe plays it straight with a C1 piece below the fold.

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Herald, the story gets the expensive two-page spread.

 

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The punting local tabloid looks at the AG’s overreach from the fantasy fan’s point of view Owen Boss’s report, the legal perspective in Bob McGovern’s column,  and a John Sapochetti piece representing the umbrage-industrial complex.

And we’re betting we haven’t heard the last of this from the Heraldniks either.


Boston Herald Gets Its Irish Up

March 17, 2015

The faulty (but still fáilte) local tabloid is giving the umbrage-industrial complex a bad name. For the second day in a row, the Boston Herald is mewling about the so-called jokes at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

Start with yesterday’s Herald:

Baker teams with T chief to yuk it up over rail fail

031515Breakfastfn01

Gov. Charlie Baker’s appearance alongside embattled MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott in a skit goofing on the transit system’s winter woes got a chilly reception from some who say it runs counter to Baker’s image as a reformer of the troubled authority.

“I think it would be prudent to try to avoid making a joke out of it,” said David Tuerck, executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute, who noted that the commuter rail is still operating on a reduced schedule.

“This was a mistake for him. It’s in bad taste. It’s not amusing to people who are still putting up with the inconvenience of a situation that’s gone on for weeks now, well beyond the period when we had a lot of snow.”

 

The piece included a different critique from one local solon: “[A]ll of these highly produced skits seem to be supplanting the genuineness of the event as it had been in years past,” state Sen. Robert Hedlund said. “It’s become more of an over-the-top production.”

As has the Herald’s rail fail crusade. Today’s front page, lower left:

 

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Story inside:

Baker defends jokes

‘If you can’t poke fun at yourself, you’re not getting it’

Gov. Charlie Baker is standing by his MBTA skit at South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast — and doubled down last night at another holiday dinner in Lowell, where he mocked the transit agency’s dysfunctional commuter rail line.

“It was an opportunity for all of us to sort of poke fun at ourselves, and let’s face it, we all know it’s been a long winter. The MBTA had some issues we worked pretty hard with them to fix,” Baker told the Herald last night. “If you can’t poke fun at yourself, you’re 031615bakerjb01not getting it.”

Baker drew some chuckles at the St. Patrick’s Day fete in Lowell, when he joked that during the height of the storms he would be told a number of commuter rail engines were ready to go the next day — only to see that number shrink the following morning.

“I was like, what are these things, teenagers? ‘I got up this morning, Dad looked at me kind of funny. I was out drinking last night. I’m sorry.’ … I wish I was kidding, but the simple truth is the main reason we had so much trouble with the commuter rail is because inside those big, brawny locomotives beats the heart of a 16-year-old,” Baker said.

 

Now that’s not funny.

The frosty local tabloid also got chilly about some gag props.

Newly minted Attorney General Maura Healey also drew some heat for holding up several fake subpoenas at the Sunday breakfast, and jokingly telling lawmakers in the crowd, “Some of you might be familiar with these. So laugh.”

Santa Clara University Law School professor Margalynne Armstrong found the joke inappropriate for the state’s top lawwoman.

“She needs to make sure she gives the office the respect it deserves. It’s important to not treat her power lightly,” Armstrong said. “The decent thing to do would be to apologize. And it should be a real apology.”

 

Really, where are they finding these folks?

Regardless, new motto for the Herald: Erin Go Blah!


Conduct ‘Unbecoming’ in Mass. AG’s Race

August 28, 2014

Today’s local dailies have very different takes on the political rumpus du jour: Attorney General hopeful Warren Tolman (D-Teamsters AFL-CIO) calling AG hopeful Maura Healey (D-Hoopsters Teamsters) “unbecoming” for hectoring him about his lobbying work. [Apologies for the mixup.]

The Boston Globe is on the story like Brown on Williamson, starting Page One Metro.

 

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Tolman’s moonwalking, of course, accomplished nothing with the umbrage-industrial complex, exemplified by this response:

Barbara Lee, of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which is dedicated to getting more women involved in politics, tweeted: “Code for close race = #unbecoming #unladylike #cold #bossy. Men always try to knock women off pedestal[s] like this in #mapoli and beyond.”

 

#Seriously? #Whatpedestal?

On the op-ed page of the stately local broadsheet (yikes! can we still use that term?), columnist Joan Vennochi tried to inject some reality into the conversation.

Unbecoming issue in the AG race

ATTORNEY GENERAL candidate Maura Healey was ruthlessly pushing Democratic rival Warren Tolman to explain what she describes as his record as a lobbyist, when Tolman, who contends he never lobbied anyone, replied: “Maura, it’s just unbecoming. I’m surprised you continue to push these issues rather than talk about the issues people care about.”

Tolman said he’s sorry now. But before he apologized, the word “unbecoming” triggered an urgent fundraising letter from Marty Walz, a Healey backer and president of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts. “It means unattractive, indecorous. It’s not a word you hear men on Beacon Hill use about each other,” wrote Walz.

True enough. And, with Tolman in the lead in a tight, increasingly nasty race, it’s no surprise the Healey campaign would jump on her opponent’s use of it. After all, the word “unbecoming” holds a special place in Massachusetts politics. But overplaying it is a mistake. It didn’t help the last female candidate who tried.

 

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, an editorial entirely underplayed it.

Time to get real

How did it come to this? How did two really smart contenders for attorney general, two people who have already served the public and seem committed to the notion of public service, get caught up in a meaningless war of words?

Warren Tolman, a former state senator (and a sometime writer for these pages), took issue in a Tuesday debate with his Democratic primary opponent Maura Healey, a former assistant attorney general, when she criticized his work as a lobbyist.

“You go down this path, Maura, it’s just unbecoming,” he said.

Well, you would have thought from the reaction of the sisterhood that the man had just suggested she tie on an apron and return to the kitchen.

 

Right. Better both candidates should get back to business.