Tobacco’s Abuse of Patriotic Sentiment

This one was just a little too random not to blog about. The British-American Tobacco group (BAT), the makers of the Kent cigarette brand, may be sued by the Russian government’s anti-monopoly watchdog for false advertising – apparently because one ad promoting a tour of Japan showed a picture of the disputed South Kuril Islands, which Russia annexed after WWII. “The ad violates legislation, which does not allow advertisers to abuse people’s patriotic sentiments,” said Andrei Kashevarov, the watchdog’s deputy chief and head of its expert board. How’s that for nationalism and cultural politics? If anything, I would’ve thought the recent Smirnoff vodka ad offered a more confusing amalgam of historical contradictions and controversy… which is still better than how the Germans portray the Italians.