U.S. Tobacco's attempts to create a positive link between rock 'n'
roll and smokeless tobacco with this summer's R.O.A.R. rock tour appear to be
going up in flames.
Not only has Natasha Hale, co-manager of British pop
stars 60ft Dolls, a band currently listed on the R.O.A.R. (Revelation of
Alternative Rhythms) Tour web site as
being part of the line-up, stated that smoking is "a disgusting unhealthy
addictive habit...," but both of the group's managers say the Dolls never
agreed to participate in the tour. "We turned it [a place on the tour] down
purely because of its involvement with tobacco," Hale wrote in a May 6, 1997
letter to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids that ATN acquired a copy of
Hugh Williams, the other co-manager told ATN this morning (May
20) that, "We were never confirmed to do this tour. I'm surprised we were on
In her letter to the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids Hale
wrote, "I want to make it as clear to you as I possibly can that 60ft Dolls are
not playing on any of the R.O.A.R. dates... The main singer, songwriter in the
group [Richard Parfitt] is an anti smoker and so did not want to do the
U.S. Tobacco recently recognized R.O.A.R.'s potential to become a
public relations fire hazard. Last Wednesday (May 14), the company issued a
press release announcing that it would "modify certain aspects of its
sponsorship, including removal of references to our sponsorship from all future
R.O.A.R. Tour print advertising, press releases and promotional material." The
release noted that "some such reference will occur in books (e.g., magazines)
While Dolls manager Williams offered the band's support
for the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, he said, "We'd rather not be so vocal
about [the tour]. We'd rather say we'll leave it at that and not be seen to be
screaming and shouting about it. Because we were never at the stage where we
were doing the tour any way."
Alan Kaiser, spokesperson for U.S. Tobacco
could not explain why the band is listed as part of the tour lineup...
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