Globally, the tobacco industry spends billions of dollars on advertising, sponsorship and promotion. As advertising restrictions have become more prominent, the industry has had to be more creative in ways it advertises its products, using sponsorship and different types of promotion. 
"How Do You Sell Death?"
Fritz Gahagan, once a marketing consultant for five tobacco companies gave an insight into the dilemma faced by the tobacco companies in the late eighties. “The problem is how do you sell death? How do you sell a poison that kills 350,000 people per year, a 1,000 people a day? You do it with the great open spaces ... the mountains, the open places, the lakes coming up to the shore, They do it with healthy young people. They do it with athletes. How could a whiff of a cigarette be of any harm in a situation like that? It couldn’t be - there’s too much fresh air, too much health - too much absolute exuding of youth and vitality - that’s the way they do it”. 
Advertising Works for Every Other Industry
The tobacco industry has long argued that tobacco advertising is aimed at building brand loyalty, not trying to persuade young people to smoke or smokers to continue and not quit.
However, others within the advertising industry have disputed this categorically.
Advertising executive Emerson Foote, former Chairman of the Board of McCann-Erickson, which handled $20 million in tobacco account sales, argues that: “The cigarette industry has been artfully maintaining that cigarette advertising has nothing to do with total sales. This is complete and utter nonsense. I am always amused by the suggestion that advertising, a function that has been shown to increase consumption of virtually every other product, somehow miraculously fails to work for tobacco products.” 
In the late eighties, David Abbott, Chairman of ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers, argued:
"I think arguments like shifting brands are just insulting in their shallowness. There is no other category where you can spend between £70 million and £100 million and not have an effect in protecting or increasing the market. I think advertising has certainly slowed down the rate of decline. It has certainly helped to introduce new smokers, be they women or be they in the Third World. The other thing about cigarette advertising, I do think it makes it more difficult for health education in that it makes the Government’s attitude more ambivalent." 
Link Between Advertising and Consumption
Dr. Clive Smee, Chief Economic Adviser to the Department of Health, published the most comprehensive study of the link between advertising and tobacco consumption in 1992. He concluded: “The balance of evidence thus supports the conclusion that advertising does have a positive effect on consumption.”
Reviewing the impact of advertising bans that had been introduced at the time, Smee concluded: "In each case the banning of advertising was followed by a fall in smoking on a scale which cannot be reasonably attributed to other factors." 
Smee was only communicating what the industry already knew, but very rarely admitted publicly.
In 1987, for example, the journal Tobacco International ran an article on cigarette consumption in Greece, stating that "the rise in cigarette consumption is basically due to advertising". Two months later, Philip Morris responded by stating Philip Morris responds to the April Tobacco International article by saying that “the tobacco industry’s position in advertising is that it may influence the choice of one brand over another but has no effect on consumption …I am sure the statement in question was merely an oversight, but in the current climate of attempts to ban tobacco advertising in nearly all our major markets, it is certainly not helpful if critics can quote a tobacco industry trade journal to support their claims." 
A decade later, Gareth Davies, the then chief executive of Imperial Tobacco, while commenting on the proposed advertising ban in the UK said: “Obviously I am very much against anything that tries to reduce consumption of a legal product that is used by adults.” 
The reason for sports sponsorship was also revealed by an RJ Reynolds executive in the late eighties: “We’re in the cigarette business. We’re not in the sports business. We use sports as an avenue for advertising our products ...We can go into an area where we’re marketing an event, measure sales during the event and measure sales after the event, and see an increase in sales." 
The tobacco industry has had a long and close association with Formula One motor racing. In the mid-eighties, Barrie Gill, chief executive of Championship Sports Specialists Ltd., a sports sponsorship company, explained why: “It’s the ideal sport for sponsorship. It’s got glamour and worldwide television coverage. It’s a 10 - month activity involving 16 races in 14 countries with drivers from 16 nationalities. After football it's the Number One multinational sport. It ’s got total global exposure, total global hospitality, total media coverage and 600 million people watching it on TV every fortnight.…It’s macho, it’s excitement, it’s colour, it’s international, it ’s glamour.…They’re there to get visibility. They’re there to sell cigarettes.” 
In June 2012, the Guardian newspaper in the UK reported on the celebrity endorsement of Gudang Garam’s (an Indonesian tobacco company) InterSport internet channel by Manchester United and England football star Rio Ferdinand.  (see Gudang Garam and sports endorsement)
Virtually all tobacco advertising is now illegal in the UK and many other countries. In the UK, the Tobacco Advertising & Promotion Act 2002 was enacted in November 2002, which banned most advertising in February 2003, with a gradual phase out of sponsorship by July 2005.
The UK is also a party to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world’s first global public health treaty. Article 13 of the Treaty requires Parties to implement and enforce a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising within five years of ratifying the FCTC. 
The UK government is currently considering whether to implement a policy of plain packaging of cigarettes packs, which industry documents show are used as a key marketing tool.  It has also recently introduced a Point of Sale Display Ban.
Other Types of Advertising
- A list of pages in the category Advertising Strategy
- Also see a related Facebook page on tobacco advertising and marketing
- ↑ The American Cancer Society, The Framework Convention Alliance, and The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, How do you Sell Death?, November 2008
- ↑ Quoted in World in Action, Secrets of Safer Cigarettes, 1988
- ↑ L. Heise, Unhealthy Alliance, World Watch, 1988, p20
- ↑ E. Clark, "Time to Smoke out Double Standards", Campaign, 1988, 6 May, p44-45
- ↑ Clive Smee, Effect of Tobacco Advertising on Tobacco Consumption: a discussion document reviewing the evidence, Economic and Operational Research Division. Department of Health 1992
- ↑ Tobacco International, 1987, 17 April & 24 July
- ↑ B. Potter, “Tobacco Chief to Fight Advert Ban,” Daily Telegraph, 15 May 1997
- ↑ J. DePerel, "Warning: Sports Stars May be Hazardous to Your Health", The Washington Monthly, 1989, September, p34-49
- ↑ Peter Taylor, Smoke Ring–– The Politics of Tobacco, 1984, Bodley Head, pp. 101-103
- ↑ Jamie Doward and Tegan Rogers, Rio Ferdinand criticised over advert linked to Asian tobacco firm, The Guardian, 16 June 2012, accessed July 2012
- ↑ ASH,Tobacco Advertising and Promotion in the UK, October 2009
- ↑ Mark Hulit, Marketing Issues Corporate Affairs Conference, Philip Morris, Manila, 27 May 1994