13 Oct 2009
Tobacco companies are targeting consumers through social networking websites to market their products.
Products like Marlboro, Benson and Hedges and Lucky Strike are appearing on social networks like Facebook where users can become a fan of the brand.
As advertising channels become more restricted throughout the world for the tobacco industry, tobacco companies are looking for more loopholes and savvier ways to market their products – with social networking being the new target.
Nick Schneider from the Unit Cancer Prevention and WHO Collaborating Center for Tobacco Control says this form of advertising violates the EU tobacco advertising directive and Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. “According to the Facebook advertising guidelines, tobacco advertising is not permitted,” he said.
Schneider is encouraging everyone who uses Facebook to report tobacco companies’ promotion of their brands to Facebook. He also suggests Facebook users spread the word through their friends list.