Remember the recent illegal cigarette advertising campaign!
Billboards like the one showing a scary looking dude and the
statement: 'WARNING: The money you spend on illegal cigarettes,
he could use to buy guns.' Well a lot of people complained to
the ASA about these ads. And their objections were upheld –
the ASA ruled that, as there was absolutely no proof of any link
between illegal cigarette sales and other forms of crime, the ads
unjustifiably played on fear. An appeal has been filed.
If you thought this was some kind of public service advertising
, prepare to be disappointed. The campaign was, in fact, sponsored
by BAT, a company that has 80% of the SA cigarette market. And
therein lies another objection to the ads, one that the ASA neatly
sidestepped. Some people argued that the ads contravened the ban of
tobacco advertising - the Tobacco Products Control Act 1993 makes
it illegal to advertise or promote tobacco products by 'direct
or indirect means', and this includes 'fostering a positive
attitude' towards cigarettes through the use of any 'brand
So how do ads aimed at dissuading people from buying illegal
cigarettes promote cigarettes? It's subliminal, say the
objectors, by telling people not to buy illegal cigarettes, BAT was
fostering a positive attitude towards legal cigarettes. And, by
using brand elements that are associated with its products,
particularly Peter Stuyvesant, BAT was blatantly promoting its own
cigarettes. According to the objectors, the most important BAT
brand element used in the illegal cigarette campaign was, believe
it or not, the get-up of BAT's tobacco health warning - a blue
and white colour combination, together with the word
'WARNING' in caps and Helvetica script, surrounded by a
Branding guru Martin Lindstrom calls this tosh neuromarkeing,
and he makes an extraordinary claim - not only are tobacco health
warnings ineffective, they actually promote smoking behaviour by
activating the brain's nucleus accumbens (don't know
either!) This is why the tobacco companies have, of late, been
emphasising brand elements like colour rather than name. And this
is also why the astute Australian government wants all branding
removed from cigarette packets (other than the brand name in tiny
script ), in order to break the link between tobacco craving and
distinctive brand characteristics.
Another tactic used by BAT, say the objectors, was to list
various things that people should look out for to determine if
cigarettes are illegal, one of them being a price of under R13.50.
In the process advertising the price of its own products. Sneaky or
what! Pity the ASA didn't consider the matter.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
There has been much discussion in the media regarding the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), triggered by the recently announced Federal Law No. (12) of 2016 (the Amendment), which amends Federal Decree-Law No. (5) of 2012 on Combating Cybercrimes (the Law).
The philosophy behind the removal is to enable ISPs to bring down their internet data price as low as possible so as to gain more subscribers as well as make it cheaper for Nigerians to access the internet.
Anyone entering Qatar by way of the Doha International Airport has no doubt noticed the large billboards prominently advertising upcoming events, new real estate developments, fast cars, hot fashions, and any other information of potential interest to people here.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).