Is it really true, as you suggest (Campaign, 10 November) that all
advertising is about encouraging people to try and/or buy more of a
product? What about lavatory paper? Are we really to believe that people
would use newspaper were it not for the advertisements? Do people get
the runs when they see an Andrex commercial?
Clearly, if advertisements for lavatory paper are about brand
competition, why should that not be true about other product sectors?
And why not, indeed, for tobacco advertising?
After all, tobacco consumption is not rising and is not even static. It
has been falling for many years and, incidentally, has fallen faster in
the UK than in countries where tobacco advertising is banned.
Finally, the idea that tobacco advertisements recruit child smokers is
preposterous. If anti-smoking campaigners would consider for a moment
the widespread use of unadvertised drugs by children in schools and
colleges, they might realise that their social acceptability’ arguments
were not just wrong, but profoundly unhelpful to their cause.
Philip Circus, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, London SW1