The old model of advertising is dead, but the Government still insists on using it. Everyone in the ad industry knows that young people in particular don’t respond any longer to billboards and TV advertising. They spend most of their time playing computer games, listening to music, chatting on e-mail, cruising the Net and getting involved with ethical movements. So why is it that the Government still advertises using the old model? In Scotland last year, after extensive Government advertising, smoking actually went up rather than down.
So, as a last resort, we are now banning smoking in public places, but we are still not dealing with the core issues of what makes people smoke and what makes it hard to quit.
If you look at cocaine abuse it is clear that, despite being illegal, the use of cocaine is on the rise and affecting every social class in this country. Far from being a choice drug for people in poverty, it is the choice of the middle and upper classes.
What we need is an idea that makes ‘giving up’ more fun and a community that provides support to help us with our many bad habits. We’ve got warnings on cigarette packets and national advertising campaigns, but our children are still smoking.
The ban on smoking will simply provide an opportunity for the tobacco industry to feast on the many loopholes a ban such as this will provide.
It’s time to become more inventive if we really want people to give things up.
Marksteen Adamson, Partner, ArthurSteenHorneAdamson, Gloucestershire GL50 1TY