BAT Employees on Facebook
Most of you probably have Facebook accounts - 75% of Australian Internet users have visited Facebook, 59% have a Facebook account. The average time spent on Facebook in a given month is an astounding 8:19 hours (all outside of work hours, of course). These are incredibly attractive numbers to marketers!!
In our latest publication, we found that some BAT employees are energetically promoting BAT and BAT brands on Facebook through joining and administrating groups, joining pages as fans, and posting photographs of BAT events, products, and promotional items. BAT employees undertaking these actions are from countries that have ratified the WHO FCTC which requires signatories to ban all forms of tobacco advertising, including online and cross-border exposure from countries which are not enforcing advertising restrictions.
The results of our research could be used to test the comprehensiveness of the advertising ban by requesting that governments mandate the removal of this promotional material from Facebook.
Freeman B, Chapman S. British American Tobacco on Facebook: undermining Article 13 of the global WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Tob Control. Published Online First: 15 April 2010 doi:10.1136/tc.2009.032847