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Psychological manipulation is the new marketing

9 November 2005

Psychological manipulation is the new marketing

Who’s misleading? An industry that kills 4500 New Zealanders every year or an organisation that simply wants to bring the truth to the public.

In response to the new report, “Trust us: We’re Socially Responsible”, British American Tobacco New Zealand has lashed out claiming that they are “very transparent and open”.

The BATNZ spokesperson comments that they will be happy to sit down and “discuss the issues”

If BATNZ is as transparent as they say they are, we challenge them to give us “transparent and open” answers.

1. How much profit did they make over the past 10 years through the illegal sale of cigarettes to youth? What do they do with this illegally gained profit? 2. If BATNZ is so concerned about the health of their customers, why are they promoting their products by paying dairies for colourful and prominent cigarette displays? 3. In page 15 of BATNZ 2003 Social Report they say “We share the desire of the public health community to reduce the health impact of smoking, and are committed to working with others to do that.” Why then are they not supporting the public health community on tobacco control strategies like taxation, regulation, and picture warnings that have been proven to work?

With the banning of tobacco advertising and sponsorship, tobacco regulations and the Smokefree Environments Act, on the surface it might seem to the general public that enough has been done. But reading between the lines, the tobacco industry’s latest tactic is to use subtle manipulative language to promote their products. Our role is to make sure that New Zealand businesses, media and the general public are well informed about the tobacco industry’s activities in New Zealand.

BATNZ claims that “It is misleading and defamatory to accuse BAT of playing word games.” Most of the words in this press release have been taken from the BATNZ reports.

ASH challenges BATNZ to give “transparent and open” answers to the media and the New Zealand public about these vital issues.

ENDS

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