H/T Harley for this Australian story:
The owner of a popular Irish pub in Perth is seeing red after the Western Australia Health Department told him to remove his tobacco memorabilia signs or face prosecution and hefty fines.
Almost every inch of J.B O’Reilly’s in Leederville is littered with antique signs and memorabilia, including a number of collectable tobacco signs dating back more than 120 years, one of which cost him A$5000 (NZ$5397).
The owner of the iconic Irish pub J.B O’Reillys in Cambridge he has been told by the WA Health Department to remove his tobacco memorabilia signs or face prosecution.
If the signs aren’t showing existing tobacco brands, it’s rather hard to see that they’re any sort of adverts at all.
Surely for something to be an advert it must reference a product that is currently available to purchase?
Would an advert for an entirely imaginary brand of cigarettes be a form of advertising?
If he’s forced to take down his memorabilia, it’ll be because Tobacco Control now wishes to obliterate the very idea and memory of tobacco. If so, the next step will be the banning of books and movies that include smoking, on the grounds that this is a form of ‘advertising’, simply because it reminds people of the existence of the product.
And it’ll also meaning banning words like ‘tobacco’, ‘cigarette’, ‘smoking’, because they serve to remind people of the practice. Even ‘No Smoking’ signs might be deemed to ‘advertise’ smoking.
Health Minister Kim Hames has intervened in the J.B. O’Reilly’s tobacco sign saga – telling the Health Department to stop its action against the Leederville pub.
…Mr Hames said that if Mr North had taken down any signs he could put them back up, saying the department demand was overkill.
Mr Hames said he would amend the legislation.
But clearly some people in the Health Department didn’t think it was overkill at all.