Japan tobacco uses Tagore’s image for Illegal promotions

Publish: 9:01 PM, May 23, 2019 | Update: 9:01:PM, May 23, 2019

Now a tobacco company has started to use nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s image in their brand promotion. Recently an advertisement of a program run by popular singer Tahsan Khan has been published in some leading newspapers of the country. The program is based on the history of Rabindranath Tagore’s Journey towards Japan. Japan Tobacco Bangladesh has also published this advertisement this Wednesday.

The anti-tobacco organizations said that they have never seen this type of promotion before in the media. The brand color of Japanese Tobacco and their slogan “Japanese Quality” has been used in this promotional advertisement. It is the same color and slogan Japanese Tobacco uses in their brand promotion. So it can be undoubtedly said that this program is made entirely for JTI’s brand promotion.

Though there is no name of JTI in the advertisement but the marketing officers promoting the campaign are seen to wear t-shirts containing the slogan “Japanese Quality”. The t-shirts also contain the logo of JTI.

Rubel Ahmed, a student of Faculty of Social Sciences, Dhaka University said, Rabindranath Tagore has a special place in our thought and mind. It is really disgusting that a Cigarette Company is publishing advertisements using his image and playing with sentiments of mass people. They are just insulting our culture and doing their promotion by cheating. He also felt sorry as star singer Tahsan got himself involved in such advertisement.

Meanwhile, a notification issued by the non-governmental organizations working in tobacco control has said that Japan Tobacco has been campaigning in different ways by breaking law after entering in Bangladeshi market. Tahsan Khan is a popular singer of this time and also an icon of the youths. His participation in this kind of events funded by tobacco companies is not desirable in any way, which can attract young people to tobacco consumption.

According to Section 5 of the Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act, any direct and indirect involvement in advertising of tobacco products by any person or any organization is a punishable crime and anyone breaking this law could get a fine up to taka 1 lac or jail sentence upto 3 months or both.

People related to anti-tobacco campaigns are seeing this event as a trickery of Japan Tobacco as they are marketing their brand going beyond legal restrictions.