Seeking to convey a responsible and respectable image

The tobacco industry uses corporate social-responsibility programmes that, for example, conduct programmes for young people or make charitable donations, to convey a positive and respectable image to the public and policy-makers.

For example, several tobacco companies launched a joint advertising campaign on MTV Europe in 2001, which they claimed was designed to persuade young people aged 12–17 years in 38 countries not to smoke. An EU publication notes that “the true point of this campaign was to persuade the political and media establishment that the tobacco industry is a responsible and ethical sector of business, which should not be subject to strict regulation ...“. The campaign was launched when the EU and several governments were committing themselves to banning tobacco advertising.