Hijacking ‘Sustainability’ from the SDGs: Review of Tobacco-Related CSR Activities in the ASEAN Region (2017)

Introduction

As the ASEAN region becomes more aware of the deadly effects of tobacco and governments step up regulation of the industry, tobacco companies are resorting to more below-the-line tactics to promote their corporate name and products to reach consumers. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities have become one of the key strategies exploited by the tobacco industry (TI) to enhance its image and maintain legitimacy in both public and corporate spheres. CSR contributions are a loophole for the industry to exploit, particularly when all other forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship are prohibited. The money tobacco companies spend on CSR activities are part of their marketing expenses and should not be considered as donations to charity.

Read more: Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)