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Tobacco industry's buzz habit in the spotlight

Tobacco industry's buzz habit in the spotlight
It was just another fashion party at Sydney's Fox Studios,Cheap Kobe Shoes, with a catwalk competition judged by designers Peter Morrissey and Wayne Cooper.
But among the clubbers who had been sent tickets to Fashion's Future Designer Awards on December 7, 2000, were officers from the New South Wales Health Department.
Like almost everyone else, they got their tickets by subscribing to the fashion accessory website Wavesnet, but they were not there for the DJs and the handbags. The health officers came looking for signs of illegal tobacco advertising.
They think they found it. Today, Wavesnet Pty Limited and tobacco company Philip Morris appear before the magistrates court in Sydney to answer charges from NSW Health that a cigarette kiosk with icicle-theme decorations staffed by promotional models in white wigs and jumpsuits constituted an advertisement for Philip Morris' Alpine brand cigarettes.
It is still legal to sell cigarettes at venues for people over 18. Even point-of-sale advertising in shops is banned in three states, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. But in the past two years, tobacco companies in Australia have targeted clubbers, fashionistas and the gay community, as these style-setting subcultures have considerable cachet with other young people who have not yet determined which brand of cigarette they will smoke.
"This is the first time a health department has taken on a tobacco company and the third parties they use to target young people at events where they market their products in association with other brands," says Anne Jones, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health Australia.
While Philip Morris had no comment on the court case, spokeswoman Catherine Parker defended the practice of establishing cigarette kiosks in nightclubs and venues: "The placements of these kiosks is at venues which are adults-only. They have an `18-plus: It's the Law' sticker and the staff are trained to look for anyone who might appear under the age of 25 and then ask them for photo ID. We're very cautious."
The federal parliamentary secretary for health,Nike Lebron 10, Trish Worth,Women Kobe shoes, is calling on clubbers to report cigarette promotions at nightclubs and raves to the new review of the 1992 Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act. "The act was supposed to cover all kinds of tobacco advertising but since then there have been developments in new media and new marketing techniques," said Worth. "If there are loopholes, we'll be closing them."
The president of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, Cameron Murphy, warned that plans to legislate against buzz marketing could set a dangerous precedent.
"What if someone just happened to be wearing a white jumpsuit?" asked Murphy. "An individual could be prosecuted for unknowingly promoting a brand. The 31-year-old did not start smoking until he started reporting on the rave scene two years ago in Sydney. Now he's trying to give up his 10-a-day habit.
At a private party for the Dance Music Awards in Sydney last year, Callander saw girls walking around the guests with trays of cigarettes. "Some were taking one cigarette, some were taking whole packets, and girls didn't try to stop them or charge for them," he says.
In the past year, cigarette companies have contributed kiosks, chill-out rooms or promotional models to at least 12 Melbourne dance events, including the UnLtd parties organised by advertising agency Leo Burnett and the Red Raw benefits organised by gay and lesbian association the ALSO Foundation.
Mel Dimattina, a director of event organiser Agent Mad,Kobe Bryant Shoes 2013, says tobacco companies have a presence at the dance parties her company organises. "They do bring elements to an event," says Dimattina, "not just a (cigarette) stand but chill-out areas, bean bags and flags and tents. They are adding something to the scene, but if they weren't there, we'd source (those things) from elsewhere."
Andrew Mathers, the creative director of Sydney buzz marketing specialists Maverick Communications, says he is not concerned the NSW court action and Federal Government review might restrict the buzz marketing of other products, although "it could affect alcohol advertising".
Mathers thinks the court case and the review might be good for buzz marketing.
"It's exciting," he says. "After five years, the government will finally recognise this as a category of advertising that can stand on its own. It might create a buzz."
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