Keep Smiling No One's Going to Die
In 1999, the House of Commons Health Select Committee obtained
access to these internal documents from the five main advertising
agencies with UK tobacco accounts as part of their investigation
into the conduct of the UK tobacco industry. Click here to
read the results of their investigations Health
Committee Publications 1999-20001,2.
The Centre for Tobacco Control Research at the University
of Strathclyde was asked to analyse copies of the advertising
agencies' documents and prepare a report for the Committee's
investigation. "Keep Smiling - no one's going to die"
by Gerard Hastings and Lynn MacFadyen is a summary of that
Using direct quotes from these internal documents, it covers
seven key points:
- The impact of advertising on consumption as well as brand
- Response to Government policy and regulations
- Targeting the young and the promotion of brand imagery
- The role of marketing
- How sponsorship and advertising become the same thing
- Offensive practices
- Health issues and how they are avoided
Hastings & MacFadyen summarise their analysis: "One
is left with the inescapable conclusion, that given the greatest
threat to public health this country has faced since the great
plague, these people are having fun, making money and show
absolutely no concern for the consequences of their actions."
"Keep Smiling - no one's going to die"
takes its title from the 'gung ho' signing off of an advertising
agency letter to their tobacco industry client.
(Benson & Hedges Correspondence
(September to December), 1995, Doc
No 0084, p6)