British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) were found advertising in a popular job hunting web portal of Bangladesh in April 2019.
In April 2019, it was noticed that a locally popular job hunting portal, namely bdjobs.com, was running visual online ads of British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) as well as Japan Tobacco International (JTI) on the portal’s homepage. Both of these companies used flash images to glorify these companies as employers. The BATB advertisement claimed that it was the first ever organization in Bangladesh officially certified' as Top Employer in 2019. JTI also used alluring picture of nature and adventure to draw the attention of the visitors.
It should be noted that the popular job portal had an estimated daily traffic of 100,000 visitors at that time where the country’s young folks turn to look for job openings in both public and private sectors as well as for professional training workshops. One may also take notice that BATB regularly arranges Battle of Minds (BoM) in public and private universities where it promotes its brand in the name of talent hunt.
An alert was issued by PROGGA regarding this matter. The alert stated:
“Tobacco companies are exploiting this platform for their business promotion and image-building purposes... BATB and JTI are currently the world’s third and fourth largest tobacco giants with an identical aggressive business outlook, looking for new markets in developing countries.”
According to the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) (Amendment) Act, 2013, all kinds of promotional activities that uphold tobacco industry's commercial interests are prohibited and are to be considered as a punishable offense.[i] Stating the act of infringement by the job portal, Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA), along with other tobacco control activist groups, approached bdjobs.com. The administrative authority of bdjobs.com immediately responded to ATMA’s message acknowledging that their actions were unintentional and without knowledge of the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) (Amendment) Act, 2013. Furthermore, bdjobs.com removed those promotional ads in question and provided assurance of not committing such violation of law and regulation.