Cigarette companies in Indonesia have a captive audience near Mount Merapi. Employees from Sampoerna, one of Indonesia's largest tobacco companies, are helping out volcano victims while also taking advantage of a great marketing opportunity: wearing logo-emblazoned gear and saving people!
As Mount Merapi continues to erupt on a daily basis, Sampoerna has stepped in to help. They've built a refugee camp, and have supplied all sorts of nice, new vehicles, all of which conveniently display the cigarette company's logos, nice and big and in your face. NPR is on the scene and spoke to locals, who aren't too impressed with Sampoerna's perceived opportunism:
Why can't they just do the good stuff, but without the advertising?" asked 18-year-old Anin, who like many Indonesians only uses one name and who was volunteering at an evacuation camp opposite the Sampoerna camp in her home village of Harjobinangung. "Why can't they just use plain white vehicles or something?"
Around two-thirds of Indonesian males are smokers (though we can maybe take one off that list, for now), so what better way to put your cigarette brand in the spotlight than to cover everything at a disaster zone with logos? And although smoking is banned inside the rescue camp, what better way to unwind after a long, hard day of saving lives than with a smooth Sampoerna cigarette?
[Image via Getty]