Two months after a cover story on the merits of early cancer detection I was a little taken aback when I saw two ads for cigarettes in the March issue of WIRED. It feels like years since I've seen such ads. The other thing that struck me was how few advertising pages were in the issue.
I'm not sure whether the cigarette ads are the result of WIRED suffering from the financial crisis and taking any advertiser they can get or whether the cigarette companies deliberately sought advertising in WIRED in some sort of return fire in their ongoing PR wars. And there's a third option: that when times get tough, cigarette and alcohol companies make themselves available to help fill the void.