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Ooh-ooh that Smell

Too Much Smoke? "... at some point moms' and other interest groups are going to bring some heat"

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OOH …Here’s One Thing


by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company

Ooh-ooh that Smell


“Whiskey bottle and brand new car
Oak tree you’re in my way
There’s too much coke and too much smoke
Look what’s going on inside you”  Lynyrd Skynyrd

I’m too sick to my stomach to even bring up the senseless shootings these past few weeks.  So I will let an old song by Tracy Chapman do it for me.   Amazing that she nailed it in 1992.   Yes folks, 1992.  When the f are we going to do something about it?


If you are interested, here are the lyrics.  Tracy Chapman – Bang Bang Bang Lyrics | AZLyrics.com

And if you really care, take a minute to peruse this recent NY Times article on mass shootings in 2022 alone.     Here is a partial list of mass shootings in 2022. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

On to something more trivial quickly. Otherwise both you and I will be in a ball in the corner. 

airport TSA Tray photo Organa Brands

At the recent IBO conference, over a pulled BBQ sandwich, I asked a charismatic operator “how’s business?”  He said “terrible”.   In my infinite wisdom I responded with “huh?”  He snapped back with “I have so much weed business I can’t service it all”.  He then went on to say, “I really would like to diversify my advertiser mix a bit more, but it’s so damn easy to just write up the weed business.  They don’t haggle on price and they pay like clock work.  And if they don’t want to renew, there are 5 competitors standing in line to take their place.”  Without giving it a second thought, I went back for seconds.  

Fast forward a couple weeks and I was at a closing party where both the client and the buyer attended (a refreshing twist on things I might add), and one person in the group decided he would throw a hand grenade for fun.  “Don’t you think we have gone over the top?”  He let that hang in the air for a moment.  No one responded.  Sensing the discomfort in the room, and being the seasoned middleman, I jumped in with “what do you mean John?”  He said “look, I am a child of the 60s and 70s and I am all for peace and free lovin’, but I was also a pup in the business back when tobacco consumed 40% of all the ad space out there.  Anyone remember Joe Camel and its subliminal message to kids?  To me it feels like we are quickly getting back there…but hey that’s just me riding around out there…so I can’t tell you statistics…but I can tell you at some point moms’ and other interest groups are going to bring some heat.”  

That really got me thinking.  Are we talking about this issue as an industry?  If we are, I’ve completely missed it.  I’m as much a product of the 60s and 70s as my good friend and client…but like him, if I had a 13 year old (which thank God I no longer do), I am not sure what I would say if he lit a joint in front of me, watched me hit the roof, and then told me it’s my industry that told him that it was more than okay for him to do it.    

Ya I know, legal products have a right to advertise, who are we to be the arbiter of right and wrong if it is legal, it’s true of booze too and we don’t self regulate that, the advertising is focused on the 21 plus market, bla bla bla,

…But still isn’t it something we as an industry should be keeping a close eye on…or at least be weighing in on?  As Pink Floyd says…”Is There Anybody Out There?”

Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC


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