Mrs. Good Retch

The state's antitobacco ads get more nauseating--and popular--by the week

Compare that with "Smoked Meat," one of Riester Corporation's spots, in which a cannibal screws up his nose at a steaming stew, complaining, "I said I wanted smoked tourist, not a tourist who smoked!"

"Pus" the radio spot is so popular, Riester has heard from kids who want to know when the television version will appear. (No such plans, kids.) Robb says he knows a 3-year-old who can recite the script verbatim.

An extremely unscientific New Times study reveals that not every kid is impressed. Katie Daryl Sotak, 17, a senior at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix, says she's followed the campaign, and while the ads are attention-grabbing, she doesn't necessarily equate them with the antismoking message.

Sotak and other kids say the ads may be popular, but they don't appear to be diminishing the popularity of smoking.

And not every kid likes to be grossed out. For Sotak, "Pus" was definitely over the top. "I thought that was rather vulgar," she says.

That leads to a question: Just how gross is too gross?
"Human feces. We stay away from human feces," Dominy says. But she adds thoughtfully, "We haven't really explored pus and body pus and scabs."

Riester Corporation recently completed filming for the next television spot, which is due to air in the next couple of weeks.

The ad execs wouldn't say much, beyond that the ad is titled "Maggot."
"But it's gross!" Dominy promises, in a stage whisper.

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