April Tobacco Smoke Alarm Sounds on U.S. Tobacco and Rock Bands Who Sold Out to Teenagers

U.S. Tobacco’s "ROAR Tour" Alternative Summer Rock Concert Series Seeks to Market Smokeless Tobacco to Teens

Apr. 29 1997

Washington, DC - A hip, youth-oriented rock music tour will feature the sounds of cutting-edge musician Iggy Pop, performances by alternative bands like Sponge and Tonic, and the deadly, addictive taste of Skoal smokeless tobacco. The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS today sounded the April Tobacco Smoke Alarm on U.S. Tobacco for its "Skoal Music ROAR Tour" and on the artists, calling on them to withdraw from the company’s youth marketing effort. U.S. Tobacco is mixing the youthful sounds of alternative rock with the deadly taste of its smokeless tobacco to create a powerful marketing campaign aimed at kids. "It doesn’t surprise us that a tobacco company would so blatantly target kids, but it is disturbing that these musicians would allow themselves to become tobacco salesmen," said CAMPAIGN President Bill Novelli. "If there’s one sure way to get the attention of youth, it’s through alternative rock," said 15-year old Anna Markee of Tacoma, Washington, who was recently named the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS’ 1997 National Youth Advocate of the Year. "Music tours like this one are incredibly popular among teenagers these days, and there’s no question kids look up to the musicians. It’s wrong for these rock bands to make tons of money off of a scheme to get more kids addicted to smokeless tobacco -- especially when we know that so many of them will die from their addiction." The CAMPAIGN is sounding the April Tobacco Smoke Alarm on U.S. Tobacco, Iggy Pop, and the other bands which have put greater value on their own fame and fortune than on the health of America’s children. It’s not too late for the bands to stand up for children and for U.S. Tobacco to cancel the tour. The CAMPAIGN has called on each of the acts to withdraw from the ROAR Tour, and put the public health in front of their personal profit. U.S. Tobacco produces Skoal smokeless tobacco, and is the sole sponsor of the ROAR (Revelations of Alternative Rhythms) Tour. The concert series includes Iggy Pop, the Reverend Horton Heat, the Bloodhound Gang, Tonic, Treadmill Trackstar, Sponge, Ryan Downe, and Linda Perry. It is scheduled to take place in 40 cities across the country this summer. The concerts will also include the "ROAR LEV (Lifestyle Experience Village)" which is being billed by promoters as "a multi-media, interactive compound, unprecedented in the history of touring music." According the ROAR Tour web page, "In between our unbelievable line-up of bands, the LEV will provide a place to hang out and do some cool stuff." The ROAR web page also includes clever enticements to teenagers, such as, "Remember when you were at that party and your best friend embarrassed you in front of that guy or girl you were trying to impress....Bring them to ROAR and challenge them to BOUNCY BOXING, or SUMO WRESTLING..." and "Lots of other cool stuff to be added. And it’s all free at ROAR this Summer." "This concert series could not be any more aggressively targeted at impressionable teenagers," Novelli said. "From creating a slick web page, to advertising in youthful magazines, to offering ‘extreme’ interactive games, U.S. Tobacco has the youth market squarely in its crosshairs. The musicians who agree to participate are co-conspirators in this ploy to hook more teenagers on spit tobacco." A list of artists participating in the ROAR Tour and a list of the 40 ROAR Tour cities follows. Copies of the letters sent to U.S. Tobacco and the representatives for each of the bands are available upon request. The ROAR Tour web page can be accessed at http://www.roartour.com. Within, viewers will find images of screaming kids, information on tickets, and band biographies with such vivid descriptions as, "Led by former pool shark and Eastern Texas Juvenile Correction Facility alumni vocalist/guitarist The Rev...the three craft a sound that’s not unlike rockabilly, country, swamp stomp and noise being run through a woodchipper and then spit back out in a full body-slam." The Tobacco Smoke Alarm is sounded monthly and is aimed at exposing the tobacco industry’s efforts to sell more of its products to children directly through clever marketing – and indirectly through its efforts to buy political influence. The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS can be reached by email at: TobaccoSmokeAlarm@TobaccoFreeKids.org. The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS is the largest initiative ever undertaken to decrease youth tobacco use in the United States. Its mandate is to focus the nation's attention and action on keeping tobacco marketing from seducing children, and making tobacco less accessible to kids. 1997 SKOAL ROAR TOUR - PARTICIPATING ARTISTS Iggy Pop Marsha Vlasic, Manager Golden Mountain 120 W. 44th Street, Suite 704 New York, NY 10036 212-840-6011 212-840-6745 (fax) Rev. Horton Heat Scott Weiss, Manager High Watt Management 3020 Bridgeway Street, Suite 225 Sausalito, CA 94165 415-332-3825 415-332-3877 (fax) Linda Perry Leslie Gerard, Manager Gerard Management 345 Fifth Street San Francisco, CA 94107 415-495-2873 415-495-6553 (fax) Ryan Downe Nadine Condon, Manager 3450 Third Street, Bldg. 2A San Francisco, CA 94124 Tonic Sheila Scott, Manager Insane Artist Management 7218 1/2 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (213) 933-8133 (213) 933-4052 (fax) Sponge Susan Silver, Manager Susan Silver Management 207 1/2 First Ave. South, 3rd Fl. Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 623-9268 (206) 292-9434 (fax) Treadmill Trackstar David Schilling, Manager 130 East Chestnut, Suite 403 Columbus, OH 43215 (614)326-2404 (614)326-3402 (fax) 1997 SKOAL ROAR TOUR - CITIES Tour dates and venues to be announced. Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Biloxi, MS; Birmingham, AL; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Columbia, SC; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, KS; Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY; Los Angeles, CA; Manassas, VA; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Oklahoma City, OK; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; San Bernadino, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; Syracuse, NY; Tulsa, OK; Virginia Beach, VA.

 

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