Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Sparks fly over ciggies in posters

Clothes-store ads featuring young woman smoking condemned as irresponsible.

Bandit Brand promotional material is being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority after a complaint. Photo / Supplied
Bandit Brand promotional material is being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority after a complaint. Photo / Supplied

Posters of a young woman smoking, displayed by a Kiwi clothing chain, have angered a health charity.

The posters advertise the American label Bandit Brand.

The brand's online ads also show tattooed models drinking alcohol, pulling their shirts up to expose their breasts and groping one another.

Click here to see Bandit Brand's ads (Warning: Mature content).

The Advertising Standards Authority is investigating a complaint about the promotional material.

The Herald yesterday visited a Wild Pair store in Hamilton's Centre Place, in which a picture of a teenage girl with a cigarette hanging from her mouth was on top of a clothing rack.

Action on Smoking and Health spokesman Michael Colhoun said the display was disappointing and urged advertisers to be more responsible particularly with young audiences.

"The problem with this is it's not the right context - it's in context of a youth audience."

Hamilton woman Claire McCool, who did not make the ASA complaint, contacted the Herald after seeing the poster.

She said the company was irresponsible to promote smoking as being "desirable and cool" to its target demographic of teenage girls.

"The demographic for this store is aimed at youth, so naturally I was appalled ... I believe corporations should be held accountable for the role they play in dictating social norms and the importance of having a corporate social conscience."

Ms McCool has written to Wild Pair asking it to remove the brand's merchandise from its 26 stores.

Wild Pair director Paul Donovan could not be contacted yesterday.

ASA chief executive Hilary Souter said it was uncommon to see smoking in ads because the Smoke-free Environments Act restricts the promotion of tobacco products.

- NZ Herald

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