AN ANALYSIS OF INTERNAL DOCUMENTS FROM THE
TOBACCO INDUSTRY’S MAIN UK ADVERTISING
This report makes shocking reading. It shows how powerful and cynical marketing campaigns
have been used by the tobacco industry to encourage people to start and continue smoking. Every
possible channel of communication is pressed to the cause, from conventional advertising and
sports sponsorship to the internet and innovative shop displays. Other aspects of marketing such
as the pack, pricing and even product design itself, are used at every opportunity to enhance the
appeal of tobacco. Vulnerable groups such as the young and the poor are favourite targets.
Voluntary agreements and government public health policy are treated with equal contempt.
Perhaps most shocking of all is that this damning evidence comes, not from new research by the
public health community, but from the industry’s own advertising agencies. This report
highlights some of the more flagrant marketing activities, revealed when thousands of pages of
internal business documents were released at the behest of the United Kingdom Health
Committee Inquiry into the Tobacco Industry. And in all these pages there is not one hint of
ethical concern or moral doubt. The naked pursuit of profit and market share overrides all
By Gerard Hastings and Lynn MacFadyen CTRC & TCRC