Confirmed victory

Tell Maroon 5 to drop tobacco sponsorship

This petition made change with 178 supporters!

Maroon 5 are an American band that are playing in Jakarta, Indonesia on 27th April 2011. This tour is being sponsored by Surya Pro Mild, a cigarette brand owned by British American Tobacco.

As the fifth largest tobacco market in the world, Indonesia has over 70 million smokers, and this deadly habit kills over 200,000 Indonesians every year. This country is one of the few countries in the world that has not signed the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and there are limited tobacco control policies or education programs in the country. Transnational companies as well as local manufacturers have an open playing field when it comes to marketing, advertising and sponsorship.

Tobacco sponsorship of this sort is exactly how the tobacco industry entices young people to pick up the deadly habit. By associating their products with popular music, sporting teams and other youth-focused events, the industry is able to effectively capitalize on the imagery and identity of artists, athletes and pop culture themes. Whether they intend to or not, the musicians at this event will essentially become brand ambassadors for this cigarette company. There’s a reason why tobacco industry shells out millions of dollars for this type of sponsorship – it works.

However, musicians do have the ability to stand up to the tobacco industry's egregious marketing tactics. In April 2010, former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson removed tobacco advertising and sponsorship from her Jakarta tour, at the urging of fans and anti-smoking groups. Similarly, Alicia Keys refused to play her Indonesian tour unless sponsorship and marketing from Phillip Morris’ Sampoerna brand was halted.

Maroon 5 and their management team have the same power. They can refuse to play this event unless sponsorship from the cigarette makers is ended and their logos removed from all concert paraphernalia. Indonesia may just be another stop on their 2011 tour, but the lasting impression they make in the country – for better or worse – has significant ramifications.

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