There’s Nothing Like Australia

Happy Monday readers!

We hope everyone enjoyed watching Neil Patrick Harris and the Oscars last night. Congratulations to Birdman for winning best picture! Anyways, moving forward. Have you ever traveled abroad to a different country and looked around at the advertising around you? We know that many of us travel to go on adventures and move away from our televisions, cell phones, and clutter of advertising that surrounds us at home, but think about it; If you have traveled, didn’t you realize that the advertising was actually quite different?! This brings us to our topic of the week. International advertising.

Picture us in Australia. If you have been there before than consider yourself a lucky person. It’s beautiful. Australia is a very unique country and continent when it comes to its advertisements and media.  What’s so unique? If you have visited Australia, then you may have noticed that there is no advertising for cigarettes. Well that’s normal for us here in America too, but Australia hasn’t had any sort of smoking commercial since 1965, when all cigarette advertising was banned. Fifty years has gone by, and now Australia has finally allowed anti-smoking commercials to be aired.

Announced on The Guardian , in 2012 Australia became the world’s first country to regulate packaging laws on their cigarettes. Cigarette boxes now contain a very vulgar picture of a disease that is caused by smoking with the brand name at the bottom in small letters. Cigarette companies tried suing, but failed against the federal government. Now the cigarette companies have to deal with billboards and anti-smoking commercials, which have the potential to ruin purchasing habits and crush business overall.

Australia decided to air anti-smoking commercials and change the packaging, hoping to decrease smoking rates in Australia. Australia’s media is subconsciously relying on George Gerbner’s Cultivation theory, which states that people, who regularly watch television in moderate to heavy amounts will ultimately believe the reality portrayed on television; therefore, Australia’s media is hoping that the vulgar and obscene commercials and images will resonate with tobacco buyers and ultimately eliminate smoking habits. The commercials are working. According to the Cancer Council NSW, smoking has decreased significantly from 24% of adults to almost 13%!

Tell us about your past travel experiences below. We would love to hear more differences in advertising while abroad.

-Colby Cummings, Connor Gold, Chase Seymour

13 thoughts on “There’s Nothing Like Australia

  1. That is really awesome that Australia is taking an initiative to make smoking less appealing. I don’t smoke, but the use of the vulgar messages on cigarette packaging would more than discourage me from smoking. I also agree that by airing the commercials it will help to mold the thought that smoking is bad, into the minds of tons of citizens. I haven’t been abroad, but I have been across the country. I travelled to El Paso, TX this past summer and advertising is almost non existent in the rural areas. In comparison, the city itself was covered in billboards and signs. They have signs pointing to the nearest restaurants and gas stations. It makes me think that maybe the position of the city causes this. They are very close to the Mexico border, so they are trying to advertise to the people who are just crossing into America. I would love to look at advertising more in depth if I ever do have a chance to go abroad.

  2. Although I have never been to Australia before it is a place I have always dreamed of going to. I thought Australia was awesome before but after reading how they are advertising smoking it makes me love the place even more. Not only by airing anti smoking adds and advertising it are they decreasing the amount of smokers, but they are also informing the public about the dangers of smoking. I believe this is extremely important for both the youth of the country to be informed but also to help create a more healthy atmosphere.

  3. I think it is a good idea to put those pictures on the packages of cigarettes because it proves that smoking is a bad habit. George Gerbner’ s Cultivation theory is very interesting and I believe that it is true because once people start seeing the same thing on the regular basis they start to believe it. I think it is great that these advertisements against smoking are working because it is going to improve the health of many people. The advertisements I have seen while in Ecuador are very simple. I cannot remember any specific advertisement and I think that shows how there really isn’t any fancy advertising there.

  4. I really like the idea of putting a picture of a black lung on each pack of cigarettes. My friend sent me a picture when she was studying abroad in Chile of a cigarette carton with the picture of a black lung on it as well. I feel that a lot of college kids smoke because it is the cool thing to do and that the short term benefits are a lot easier to see then the long term effects to your health. When you are this young, a lot of times you think you are invincible. I think putting a picture of a black lung on each pack of cigarettes is the best possible way to remind a smoker each time that they long term they are not invincible.

  5. I find that it is very interesting that Australia is getting results by having those anti-smoking ads. I wonder if the smoking rate would go down in America if we did something similar. I do think that it would have some impact, as the media affects a lot of what we think, say and do. I, myself have not studied abroad, but now I will be more conscious to keep an eye out for the advertisement I will see if I do go abroad. It will be interesting to see how different other countries advertisements will be compared to the advertisement that we have here in the United States.

  6. As someone who’s entirely against cigarette smoking, I think these tactics Australia is using to lower the amount of smokers are definitely going to continue to work, and I hope they do! As for my own travel experiences, I have been on a few cruises to the Caribbean and Mexico. I preferred the Caribbean, but zip lining the over forest canopies in Mexico was an adventure I will never forget. I wish to one day travel to Australia, it looks beautiful and I’d love to see the wildlife, as well as New Zealand – I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan and I’d love to see the incredible landscapes that were used to shoot the films.

  7. It’s interesting to see another country take a very different stance towards smoking compared to America. As Americans, I feel that we’re not as straightforward when it comes to trying to make a point, especially something that speaks as loudly as this does. I’d be curious to see how the rates among smokers would change if we, as Americans, were as straightforward with advertising smoking in a negative way in the way Australia does. I’m sure something like that would catch the attention and interest of many.

  8. I think that this marketing technique is a good idea for the purpose they are using it for. The only place I ever see an advertisement now a days is in a magazine on a one page spread. If I do see an ad about cigarettes on t.v, it is always a “truth” commercial providing nasty statistics and facts about the unhealthiness of tobacco products. Australia’s use of this marketing techniques has clearly shown a decrease in smoking and I think if America is that against them as well then we should move toward this kind of technique!

  9. I think it’s wonderful that Australia cares enough about it’s consumers to go to such extreme lengths to inform people of the realities of smoking. In America, we face the same problem with products and services that have been linked to carcinogens and other diseases, one of these including tanning beds. Instead of making an effort to inform consumers of the dangers and realities of what tanning can do to your skin however, we just continue to raise the sin tax and generate more revenue.
    My qualm with Australia’s new practice however, is that I’m not sure it’s entirely ethical from a business standpoint. Yes, the nation absolutely has a duty to inform and protect their citizens from health risks, however it seems like with such explicit photos, they are cutting cigarette companies off at the knees. In order to make this ethical, Australia would need to start doing the same thing across the board with every other company that raises an ethical or health concern. Including graphic photos of sheep being tortured and skinned on the boxes of their token Ugg Boots, and pictures of melanoma on the doors of tanning salons.
    In sum, while I commend Australia for their efforts, to make these efforts ethical from a business stand point, I believe they need to be consistent in informing the public of medical/ethical concerns, instead of just targeting the tobacco industry.

  10. I have traveled abroad and noticed the way different nations advertise in their countries. I know that in France, beauty advertisements can only run during a certain time of the day or night, or cannot be photo-shopped. I think this is a good way for women to understand and acknowledge the beauty they see in advertisements is not real.

    I think regulating the packaging laws on cigarettes is smart and I am fine with it. I actually think the U.S. needs to do that as well. Since I don’t smoke and I think it is disgusting, I think their should be a more of a push for it. However, I do like how North Carolina has banned smoking in bars and did not appreciate it until I was in a bar in Pittsburgh on the south side. People were blowing smoke in my face and it shocks me on how people still smoke when they are aware of the health risks involved.

    Overall, I think every country and state of the U.S. need to be stricter on cigarette companies. Since their is proof that smoking causes cancer, wrinkles, etc,.

  11. The difference in advertising across cultures is a concept I have never thought of before. However, now that I think of it, I believe it is true. I spent a bit of time in Greece about four years ago. Looking at pictures from my trip, I can tell that the same corporations and companies advertise different in Greece than they do in the United States. Some of the major differences are language (obviously), themes, colors, and placement.

  12. The difference between many countries and the United States is that the U.S is constantly trying to make more and more money. Whether it be beneficial to people or not, different industries are always trying to market their products in ways that will make them the most money. The tobacco industry brings in millions and millions of dollars every year from users. While the commercials are getting more graphic when it comes to showing side affects, tobacco use isn’t decreasing like it should be. Countries like Australia truly care about the health of their people and I think that this is a great way for companies to market their products when it comes to smoking. It gives people the shock effect and I think it could be very beneficial for the U.S to transition into something more like this.

  13. I absolutely support this move. Its easy to try to forgot how bad cigarettes can be for you. However, with these pictures staring back at you, its a constant reminder. And clearly it is working great, unless you’re a tobacco company.

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