Tobacco firms ‘may be illicitly advertising on YouTube’

A New Zealand researcher is claiming that the tobacco industry may be using YouTube to push its products surreptitiously.

Dr George Thomson of the University of Otago says that despite vehement denials and a voluntary industry agreement, tobacco companies may be uploading videos with pro-smoking content.

YouTube says it doesn’t accept paid-for tobacco advertising, but it doesn’t ban smoking related content.

Thomson searched through the first 20 pages of video clips containing any reference to five tobacco brands – Marlboro and L&M, marketed by Philip Morris; Benson and Hedges, marketed by both British American Tobacco and Gallagher; and Winston and Mild Seven, marketed by Japan Tobacco and Reynolds.


A New Zealand researcher is claiming that the tobacco industry may be using YouTube to push its products surreptitiously.

Dr George Thomson of the University of Otago says that despite vehement denials and a voluntary industry agreement, tobacco companies may be uploading videos with pro-smoking content.

YouTube says it doesn’t accept paid-for tobacco advertising, but it doesn’t ban smoking related content.

Thomson searched through the first 20 pages of video clips containing any reference to five tobacco brands – Marlboro and L&M, marketed by Philip Morris; Benson and Hedges, marketed by both British American Tobacco and Gallagher; and Winston and Mild Seven, marketed by Japan Tobacco and Reynolds.

The team analyzed 163 clips altogether – and say more than 20 appeared to be “very professionally made”.

Almost three quarters of the content found was classified as pro-tobacco, with less than four percent classified as anti.Seventy percent of the clips contained brand images of people smoking branded tobacco products, and most had brand content or the brand name actually in the title. Leer más “Tobacco firms ‘may be illicitly advertising on YouTube’”