Outrage over smoking poster

The offending poster advertising "Bandit Brand" an American clothing label.
The offending poster advertising "Bandit Brand" an American clothing label.

A Hamilton student is outraged after visiting a clothing store, only to find them displaying a poster showing a model smoking. 

Claire McCool visited the recently revamped Wild Pair store in Centre Place and was shocked when she noticed a poster of a girl with a cigarette hanging from her mouth. 

Ms McCool said that in times where cigarette branding was facing plain packaging and health associations were campaigning for a smoke free New Zealand, behaviour like this was unacceptable. 

"I was just really shocked by it. I mean they’re suggesting that that association is somewhat cool or acceptable," she said. 

The offending poster was advertising "Bandit Brand" an American clothing label, which has recently been added to Wild Pairs brand portfolio. 

The poster also features on the brand's website, along with several images which do not feature tobacco. 

"I just can’t believe that out of all the images they went with that one. I think it’s completely out of order," Ms McCool said. 

Advertising Standards Authority chief executive, Hilary Souter, conformed there had been a complaint laid against the advertisement. 

"We have received a complaint and it’s going through our process at the moment," she said. 

Ms Souter said she could not comment further as there was confusion as to whether the advertisement was an issue of social responsibility, or whether a law had been breached. 

Anti-smoking group ASH communications manager, Michael Colhoun said that it’s concerning that a store with a young audience is displaying smoking in advertisements in their stores. 

"There has been a long history between the tobacco industry and the fashion industry," he said. 

Mr Colhoun said although recent ASH studies have shown that smoking is becoming less popular among youth, there still needs to be a social conscience present when dealing with the issue.

"We would encourage these advertisers, especially the ones targeting younger audiences, to think responsibly," he said.

Waikato Times