On this large broadsheet advertisement, JTI is described as ‘a leading international tobacco company’ – see the very small print in the bottom right-hand corner of the image. It offers a letter from the UK Government’s Tobacco Policy Team to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing about a plain packaging ‘cost analysis’, obtained by a Freedom of Information request. It does not reveal ‘who’ submitted the request, and the passivity of this voice is misleading. The text is both censored and highlighted, which suggests a frame for this ‘free’ information that does put it better… despite the capitalised banner that states otherwise.
This frame implies that ‘there isn’t any hard evidence’ to show that plain packaging for tobacco products ‘works’. These ‘works’ suggest an inability to stop people smoking, yet the lack of hard evidence seems to be the ‘truth’ the advertisement outlines. If this is the truth and there are no ‘works’ – i.e. it does not work – then why does the name of JTI appear as a signatory to the text? And whose ‘cost analysis’ is it anyway?