The Secret of Smokey’s Success
In honor of Fire Prevention month, we’ll have several posts about records relating to fire prevention.
In our previous posts I introduced the real Smokey Bear and shared some public service announcements encouraging forest fire prevention. Today I’ll let you in on a little secret; Smokey has a Public Law (P.L. 82-359) protecting him.
Congress passed the law in 1952 to prevent Smokey from being used to sell commercial products. It was believed that this would dilute Smokey’s forest fire prevention message. Their strategy seems to have worked. Wildfire prevention is one of the most successful campaigns that the Ad Council has ever produced.
In addition to the Smokey PSAs, the National Archives Still Picture Branch holds many posters created by the Ad Council for the fire prevention campaign.