Tobacco Company Involvement With YouTube Smoking Videos Pondered
CMM News points to a Sydney Morning Herald article which calls to our attention the odd proliferation of videos on YouTube that show women smoking. Now that wouldn't be so weird except for the fact that in many of the videos, that's all they're doing: glamming on the cam while puffing away seductively. Sydney University School of Public Health Professor Simon Chapman viewed many of the 27,000 smoking-related videos on YouTube and while he acknowledges the videos could simply be an innocent social phenomenon, Chapman also wonders whether it's a clandestine effort by tobacco companies to promote smoking's cool quotient.
While tobacco advertising in America has been severely limited, it's been completely outlawed in Australia since 1992. Whether or not any tobacco company is behind this is likely to remain a mystery. A Philip Morris rep neither confirmed or denied involvement in with the video and said the company adheres to local laws and Internet advertising to minors should be banned. YouTube declined to comment for the story. While we find it hard to believe tobacco companies have any involvement in this and there's plenty of not-so-glamorous smoking videos to back up that belief, stranger things have certainly happened regarding this industry's marketing efforts.