In 1994, Corporate Accountability International organized the “Send Joe Camel Packing” campaign, exposing and challenging RJR’s use of a cartoon character aimed at attracting young customers. At the time, Joe Camel was even more recognized than Mickey Mouse!
RJR Nabisco responded by sending a letter to all retail outlets, warning them of the campaign. It even provided a toll-free number for retailers to call in reports of our campaign activities.
But this tactic didn’t slow us down. In the end, the campaign succeeded in shifting the public climate. President Clinton, the American Medical Association, the Surgeon General and the Federal Trade Commission all voiced their opposition to the tobacco giant’s use of Joe Camel.
Ultimately, RJR was forced to retire the cartoon camel. Read more about our campaign to Challenge Big Tobacco.