LETTERS: TOBACCO ADVERTISING; Editorial opinion was misleading and unwelcome

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 24 November 1995 12:00AM

It amazes me that Campaign so consistently misunderstands the case for tobacco advertising. Like so many other mature market categories, such as petfoods, petrol, soap powders, toilet tissues, beer, bread, newspapers - the list could fill a whole page - there is little or nothing that advertising can now do to expand the overall market for these products. To use bank accounts as an example in the same context as tobacco is not very sensible or convincing, since there is plenty of room for expansion in this sector.

It amazes me that Campaign so consistently misunderstands the case for

tobacco advertising. Like so many other mature market categories, such

as petfoods, petrol, soap powders, toilet tissues, beer, bread,

newspapers - the list could fill a whole page - there is little or

nothing that advertising can now do to expand the overall market for

these products. To use bank accounts as an example in the same context

as tobacco is not very sensible or convincing, since there is plenty of

room for expansion in this sector.



Your editorial (Campaign, 10 November) rightly reminds us that ‘all

advertising is about encouraging people to try and/or buy more of a

product’. Yes indeed, but the point is that ‘trying’ and ‘buying more

of’ a given product are not the same thing, and in the case of tobacco

we cannot, and nor are we allowed to, persuade anyone to ‘buy more’ of

our product.



However, we can use money and skills effectively to persuade smokers to

try another brand. Brand share shifts have illustrated how successful

that can be.



The fact is that the tobacco industry’s voluntary agreement has worked

well for 24 years, is strictly monitored and should not be, as you put

it, ‘a thorn in the ad industry’s side’.



We wish to retain our advertising freedoms, within the present system of

regulatory control and do not welcome argument and editorial opinion

that appears to have but a limited appreciation of our business.



Clive Turner, Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, London SW1



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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