Over 60% of countries have imposed some restriction on tobacco marketing. Only comprehensive bans on all forms of tobacco advertising, marketing, sponsorship, and promotion are effective at reducing population smoking rates. Partial restrictions are ineffective in reducing smoking because tobacco companies redirect their marketing efforts to other available venues. Voluntary agreements are also inadequate because they are unenforceable.
In the face of broadening advertising bans,
tobacco companies have become ever more creative in their attempts to lure new consumers into addiction. Use of new media, brand- stretching, event promotion, retailer incentives, sponsorship and advertising through international media, cross-border advertising, and promotional packaging are some of the ways that the tobacco industry circumvents the intent of advertising bans. An example of this is the Shanghai Tobacco Company, which created
a brand called “I love China.”
The slogan was then used on generic billboards and advertisements and may not be directly considered to be tobacco advertising.
Bans deny the tobacco industry one of its tools to recruit new tobacco users to replace those who have quit or died, to maintain or increase use among current users, to reduce tobacco users’ willingness to quit, and to encourage former users to start using tobacco again.
Comprehensive bans protect youth from the onslaught of tobacco marketing in sports, music venues, the Internet, and elsewhere. Advertising bans also help reduce the social acceptability of smoking and tobacco use.
Parents can also do their part at the individual level by protecting children from exposure to depictions of smoking in various contexts, including in movies and television and online.
Legal judgment Says:
Defendants have marketed and sold their lethal products with zeal, with deception, with a singleminded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted.US District Judge Gladys Kessler, 2006
THE INDUSTRY Says:
[Following advertising bans, marketing] evolved to a more focused, direct one-to-one approach. Philip Morris uses the database to target smokers for discount coupons and even chances to win a vacation in ‘experiential programs.’ The Marlboro brand is often associated with Marlboro Country, and the great outdoors and the West. We own a ranch, and Marlboro smokers can win an opportunity to visit that ranch and experience Marlboro Country.Bill Phelps, Altria, US, 2008