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 .

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
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.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'