November 21, 2006

A whiff of conspiracy

The Metro, London's morning freesheet, carried an astonishing article about what might be a conspiracy by Big Tobacco to push smoking via YouTube. Here's a longer version of the story, which originates from Australia.

"Thousands of videos of sexy, smoking teens are appearing on the internet phenomenon YouTube, possibly being posted by tobacco manufacturers to recruit the next generation of smokers."

The phrase "dark marketing", as used within the article, elicits a shiver of intrigue at the possibility of such techniques being employed by the evil lords of the weed.
I was sceptical, until I YouTubed "smoking" and saw some of the videos emerging on the first page. Here is an example which, before I read the story, might have dismissed as a drab fetish film, but in the context of the claims from Sydney University it acquires a more disturbing quality. Note the unusual clarity of the film, and the pearl necklace.

It's worth pointing out that this is just one video amongst many. There may be nothing especially sinister about this particular video, but the existence of so many similar ones is certainly noteworthy.
There's an ironic footnote to the linked story:
Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro, will ask the film industry to refrain from showing its brands in any future films, in ads to run in the industry magazines Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

5 comments:

Doug said...

wow, she's fine. pass the tabs will you?

Doug said...

... on second watching, there's something a bit creepy about that ...

FishNChimps said...

a touch of the peaches geldofs about her - a snooty partygirl type methinks.

blimey - you're up late

mediawasp said...

Quite like the concept of 'dark marketing', it's so 2007. Way fresher than new media / guerilla / web raiding etc.

FishNChimps said...

Yes, Dark Marketing does have the whiff of evil intrigue. One imagines a cloaked mastermind with his heavy-breathing masked sidekick manipulating us from the shadows.