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American Idol: Kelly Clarkson’s Controversial Smoking & Tobacco Ads

April 24, 2010 01:00 PM by Nancy Floyd


Kelly Clarkson, season 1 winner of American Idol, is under fire for a series of Indonesian billboards featuring her image and the logo of tobacco company, LA Lights. The singer’s upcoming Jakarta concert was originally supposed to be sponsored by the cigarettes, but when billboards with Clarkson’s image and the LA Lights’ logo popped up around Indonesia, the star was criticized by fans and anti-smoking advocacy groups. Keep reading for more info on Clarkson’s response to the controversy and whether or not the show will go on…

Fans of Kelly Clarkson and members of anti-smoking advocacy groups are up in arms about a series of Indonesian billboards advertising the American Idol‘s upcoming concert in Jakarta. The show was supposed to be sponsored by LA Lights, a brand of cigarettes, which meant that billboards advertising the event featured Clarkson’s likeness underneath the tobacco company’s logo. After fans and anti-smoking advocates put pressure on Clarkson to cancel the show, the sponsor pulled out instead. ”There will be no [L.A. Lights] media promotion at the Kelly Clarkson concert,” promoter Adrie Subono told the Associated Press.

Prior to this announcement, Matthew L. Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement that ”if Kelly Clarkson goes ahead with this concert, she is choosing to be a spokesperson for the tobacco industry and helping them to market cigarettes to children.”

Meanwhile, the American Idol star remained quiet on the issue for days until finally releasing a statement on her blog. ”I was not made aware of this and am in no way an advocate or an ambassador for youth smoking. I’m not even a smoker, nor have I ever been,” she writes. ”Unfortunately, my only option at this point was to cancel the show in order to stop the sponsorship. However, I can’t justify penalizing my fans for someone else’s oversight. This is a lose-lose situation for me and I am not happy about it but the damage has been done and I refuse to cancel on my fans. The hardest part of situations like this,” Clarkson adds, “is getting personally attacked for something I was completely unaware of and being used as some kind of political pawn.”

Fortunately, the April 29th concert will continue as planned now that LA Lights has pulled their sponsorship.

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Photo Courtesy of Getty

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows, Kelly Clarkson |

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