LETTERS: TOBACCO ADVERTISING; Cigarette ads are not out to recruit more consumers

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?

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