Swedish pharmacy unveils digital ad panel which shames smokers by coughing at them

The proliferation of clever ad technology means that agencies can now deliver on zany creative ideas that previously had no business existing.

The latest in smart digital out of home advertising is a digital billboard that coughs as smokers pass it. The placement, by agency Akestam Holst for Swedish pharmacy chain Apotek Hjartat seeks to show the effects of nicotine on others, all as a means of increasing public health and promoting products that can help quitters.

A smoke detector on the panel in Stockholm will detect smokers and as a result spark a coughing fit, all “to help customers keep their New Year’s promise” of breaking away from a cigarette habit.

Hopefully, the campaign doesn’t backfire and encourage the public to light up their cigarettes just to provoke a reaction from gentleman featured in the billboard. 

Watch the panel in action below, also captured are the candid reactions of the public taken aback by the ad.

Video of The coughing billboard


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