Joss Stone and Craig David among British singers accused of endorsing 'Big Tobacco' ahead of Indonesian festival

 

Three leading British singers have been accused of furthering the aims of "Big Tobacco" by agreeing to perform at an Indonesian music festival sponsored by one of the country’s largest cigarette companies.

Multi-platinum selling artist Joss Stone is due to perform at the Java Jazz Festival later this week as part of a billing which also features Craig David and Lisa Stansfield as part of a three-day extravaganza expected to be attended by up to 100,000 people in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

The event’s main sponsor is Djarum, the country’s third biggest tobacco company, which like other manufacturers specialises in the production of clove-flavoured cigarettes known as “kreteks”. All three British stars are due to perform on a stage promoting one of Djarum’s leading brands.

Campaigners called on the trio to withdraw from the festival, accusing Indonesia of failing to crack down on tobacco advertising and allowing companies to glamorise their products and entice new young smokers through an association with international stars and cultural events.

David, who last month signed a new deal with Universal records and is due to set out on a world tour, rejected the claims, saying he promoted healthy living and was against smoking but legislation against tobacco was a matter for the Indonesian authorities.

Indonesia has the world’s highest smoking rate for men, put at between 63 and 66 per cent of males, and according to one recent study more than 200,000 people a year die in the country from smoking-related disease. Indonesian research last year found more than 400,000 children regularly smoke.

The Indonesian government has also been accused of watering down legislation due to come into force next year which is designed to limit advertising and ban sponsorship of music and sporting events.

Amanda Sandford, research manager for Action on Smoking and Health, said: “For decades the tobacco industry has used sponsorship to promote its brands to impressionable young people. Most countries have now banned this and in response, the industry has focused on exploiting the lack of regulation in countries like Indonesia.

“The fact that musicians and entertainers are willing to take  Big Tobacco’s money adds to the problem.We call on all entertainers to make a public commitment not to accept tobacco money and to withdraw from any existing contracts.”

The British singers do not have a direct deal with Djarum, which is part of a conglomerate owned by two of Indonesia’s richest men and the most prominent of a number of corporate sponsors of the three-day festival starting on Friday.

But critics argue that the stars are nonetheless perpetuating the promotion of cigarettes using methods long-since banned elsewhere. The Marlboro Man is still to be found on Indonesian billboards climbing mountains while young women in branded outfits are often to be found at corporate events handing out free samples.

A spokesman for US-based campaign group Tobacco Free Kids said: “There aren’t many consequences for international artists that accept tobacco industry sponsorship in Indonesia. Most of the world isn’t aware that this is happening in Indonesia.”

Cigarette sponsorship has been removed from two recent concerts by prominent American performers. Advertising by Djarum for a Kelly Clarkson concert in 2010 was pulled after protests by fans and anti-tobacco groups while Grammy-winner Alicia Keys demanded that sponsorship of one of her concerts in 2008 by another company be removed.

David accused campaigners of applying unfair pressure on entertainers, saying he promoted a healthy lifestyle through one of his companies.

A spokesman said: “We believe that allowing the advertisement of tobacco is an issue for the government of Indonesia to deal with via legislation.

“Craig is very much looking forward to entertaining his fans at Java... and believes that they are able to make their own decisions when it comes to this issue.”

Representatives of Lisa Stansfield declined to comment and publicists for Joss Stone did not respond to requests for comment. Djarum, whose charitable foundation runs Indonesia’s biggest badminton club, did not respond to a request for comment .

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week