Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Arts bodies and the tobacco industry's cash


No apologies for returning to the subject of cigarette money and classical music. I have received this email from Amanda Sandford who is research manager at ASH - Action on Smoking and Health.
Dear Bob Thank you for your email and for raising awareness of the ongoing issue of tobacco sponsorship of the arts.

Yes, we are aware that it is still going on. Unfortunately, as you may be aware, corporate sponsorship by tobacco companies is still allowable since the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 only applies to tobacco brands.

Tobacco sponsorship has been virtually eradicated from sport (F1 being the sole exception) but we do have a way to go persuading arts bodies not to take the tobacco industry's cash.
Amanda's last statement is only too true. The topic of classical music's ethically compromised funders has been picked up by a number of influential sources outside classical music including Naked Capitalism and tobacco.org, but the only influential source to pick it up within classical music has been the admirable Alex Ross. As Amanda says "we do have a way to go".

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4 comments:

Pliable said...

One point that Amanda Sandford's email highlights is that the problem of sponsorship by tobacco companies rather than brands is specific to the UK due to the loophole in the 2002 legislation.

I hope non-UK readers will bear with me as I follow what I believe to be an important path.

Joe Barron said...

I don't see how it sponsorship from the tobacco industry can be banned in the US, unless individual arts groups take some sort of pledge. After all, corporations are people, too.

Pliable said...

"...by exposing the pervasive tobacco industry manipulation of scientific research for commercial purposes we seek to encourage vigilance by contemporary researchers who might consider seeking funding from an industry that places the pursuit of profits above the well-being of its customers".

That quote is from the abstract for a new academic paper by two American surgeons. The paper is titled "The price paid: Manipulation of otolaryngologists by the tobacco industry to obfuscate the emerging truth that smoking causes cancer".

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lary.22358/abstract

Pliable said...

BAT sponsor the Royal Opera House and a number of opera singers. This dossier on how BAT promotes its tobacco products to young people around the globe exposes their sponsorship of pop music -

- http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_500.pdf