Winston Fletcher is the star of a video mailed this week to all
members of the House of Commons and the Lords by the Tobacco
Manufacturers Association in protest at the Government’s plans to ban
tobacco advertising and sponsorship.
Fletcher’s stature as an industry figurehead is used to lend credibility
to the campaign.
The eight-minute video, entitled ’I’ve made up my mind ...’, attempts to
dispel some of the myths surrounding tobacco advertising and forms part
of a concerted campaign by the TMA.
The TMA is concerned that the Government has announced its plans without
seeking consultation with the tobacco industry. Repeated requests for
talks with Frank Dobson, the secretary of state for health, and Tessa
Jowell, the minister for public health, have been ignored. As a result,
the TMA has decided to appeal direct to MPs.
The video targets four myths which, the TMA believes, lie behind the
Government’s determination to ban tobacco advertising. They are: that
advertising increases consumption; that advertising causes children to
start smoking; that the voluntary code doesn’t work; and that a ban will
In the video, Fletcher, the chairman of Bozell UK Holdings and a former
president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and chairman
of the Advertising Association, says: ’The simple fact is that
advertising does not persuade children to start smoking.’ He adds: ’You
will not have seen an ad that infringes the rules (the voluntary code)
for as long as you can remember.’
Perspective, page 12.