"In short, (the) defendants have marketed and sold their products with zeal, with deception, with a single minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted." US District Judge Gladys Kessler in her final opinion in the court case: US Government vs. the Tobacco Industry, 2004.
Below are some advertising strategies used by the tobacco industry in the past that have since been banned in Australia.
The advertisments - Prior to 1976, the tobacco industry advertised their deadly products on television and radio. The video clips below show TV characters and attractive models being used to sell cigarettes to young people in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
The billboards - Billboard tobacco advertising was banned across Australia in 1993. BUGA UP (Billboard Utilising Graffitists Against Unhealthy Promotions) was a movement of people from Australia who defaced billboard advertisements – particularly those for alcohol and tobacco. Check out the new BUGA UP website.
The ‘light' and ‘mild' sham - Prior to 2005, the tobacco industry used these terms to promote some of their products as being ‘safer' than regular cigarettes. In 2005, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reached an agreement with the tobacco industry to stop using these misleading terms.
The sport sponsorships - Banned in 2006, the purpose of this marketing strategy was to link cigarette brands with an exciting, popular and highly skilled sport to improve the image and appeal of the cigarette brand. This sponsorship also undermined the health warnings on tobacco products by linking smoking with physical fitness and excellence.
This is what R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company said about using sporting events to advertise its cigarettes: "We're in the cigarette business. We're not in the sports business. We use sports as an avenue for advertising our products. . . . We can go into an area where we're marketing an event, measure sales during the event and measure sales after the event, and see an increase in sales."
The nightclub events - The tobacco industry use to promote their products in nightclubs by holding themed events. Attractive models dressed in glittery clothes that complemented the colourings of the cigarette brands would mingle with patrons and invite them to purchase their products. This form of tobacco sponsorship was banned in 2006.
'Power walls' at point of sale - Cigarette 'power wall' displays have been a major advertising strategy for the tobacco industry. Many Australian states and territories have passed laws banning the display of tobacco products at point of sale. The benefits of these types of bans is a reduction in smoking rates and uptake by young people.
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Images courtesy of Quit Victoria