Advertising of tobacco direct or indirect has been banned by persistent efforts of the international partners in tobacco control over the past few months. Particularly the chewing tobacco or gutka.
2012 February tournament viewers in Indian however saw the advertising of Chaini and Kamla Pasand brands on the boundary ropes all round the cricket ground. This despite the prohibition of tobacco advertising under Australian laws. The promoters were given a translation that claimed that these were advertisements for mouth fresheners. The hindi reading viewers took the matter up with Action on smoking and health Australia.
The combined effort of the Union of south East Asia office and the Union Department of Tobacco control stepped in to support ASH on its stand, and the advertisements were removed. Similar incidents have occurred in south Africa and Srilanka too.
Most countries have a legislation banning the direct and indirect promotion of tobacco, this enforcement is rather lax and brand stretching occurs. Associated brands from the same manufacturers is often marketed like mouth fresheners and Gutka. Surrogate products are distributed complimentary during cricket events to ensure the effective promotion of tobacco products.
This is a unique challenge legally and technically for the tobacco control units. So it is critical for organizations to collaborate and pool expertise and experience to tackle these strategies.