Edwina Pearce, a spokeswoman for the Cancer Council Victoria, which produced the ad in Australia, said the boy, whom she identified only as Alexander, shed real tears.
"We didn't do anything dastardly to make him cry. He did get upset, but it was about a 10-second period that he was upset for and then his mother came back and gave him a big cuddle and everything was happy again."
Sure, the anti-smoking forces say the "ends justify the means," but what if smacking the kid around would stop 100 people from smoking, or barbecuing the kid on a spit would stop 1000 people from smoking? Let's just leave the kids out of the fight altogether, shall we?
The real problem is there aren't even any cigarettes in the ad. Idea: Kid forced to smoke a whole carton of Marlboros, live on tape? [NYDN]