International public health advocates are calling on U.S. singing star and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson to withdraw tobacco industry sponsorship of her April 29 concert in Jakarta, Indonesia. Health advocates expressed alarm that the concert and associated advertising are being used to promote cigarettes to Indonesian youth.
The tobacco industry has long used sponsorship of music concerts popular with young people to promote its products and tobacco use among youth. In the United States, a new federal law bans tobacco companies from engaging in brand name sponsorships of entertainment and sports events. Other countries have enacted similar bans.
However, in Indonesia and other developing countries, tobacco companies continue to sponsor concerts by famous musicians, a practice that health advocates have condemned as a means to market cigarettes to children and to circumvent restrictions on more traditional tobacco advertising. Indonesia is one of the few countries that has yet to ratify the international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which requires countries to ban all tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships.
A letter from SEATCA stated, “It is not too late to rectify the situation. We urge you to halt the tobacco sponsorship of your concert in Indonesia and pull back all promotional materials for your concert that carries the L.A. Lights brand. It is important that you and your music are not associated with cigarettes and ill health.”