Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Anti-cigarette protest mars Rossa concert

Sat, 11/29/2008 11:29 AM | Entertainment

Rossa's concert on Wednesday evening was marred by a protest involving around 40 demonstrators from the Indonesian Tobacco Control Network, the National Commission for Children Protection and the Total Ban Alliance.

They came to the Jakarta Convention Center's Plenary Hall to protest the tobacco industry's sponsorship of the concert.

Citing the example of Alicia Keys, who asked Philip Morris International to pull down billboards and posters promoting her concert in Jakarta in July, the protesters said by using such sponsorship the concert was indirectly encouraging children to smoke.

They also said that the National Commission for Child Protection had sent a letter on Nov. 22 to Rossa's management asking them to cancel it -- but it was to no avail.

"We understand that it might be impossible to cancel sponsorship just a few days before the concert. We just want them to not have any cigarette promotional materials during the concert. But if it's impossible, we just hope that it will be the last concert Rossa holds that uses them for sponsorship," protester Lisda Sundari told The Jakarta Post.

Responding to the protest, producer Erwin Gutawa said: "We are happy to have any sponsor. Please tell us if there are other companies who are willing to support us besides the ones that support us now." -- JP/Matheos Viktor Messakh

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