Sinlung /
29 May 2012

John Terry in Indian Cigarette Packs


Current warning on a cigarette pack


Headless torso to replace Terry’s photo on cigarette packs


By Teena Thacker

A headless torso with a diseased lung will soon replace a controversial blurred image that resembled English footballer John Terry as the pictorial warning on cigarette packs.

The new photo has been used in Thailand and is likely to be notified soon by the Union health ministry.
“We have taken the photo from the common sharing code. There is no copyright issue here and we have been communicated that Thailand is agreeable to us using the same photo.

“The non-specific photo having same colour scheme and design as one used by Thailand will be soon notified. The preparatory work is going on,” said a senior official in the ministry.

While, the Thailand’s photo will be a replacement to the controversial 'John Terry look-alike' picture, the ministry is also mulling over more photos to give wider choice to the manufacturers.

The ministry will soon finalise on the photographs sent by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP).

The health department had written to the DAVP seeking more options in photographs for the tobacco manufacturers with a mandate that pictures should be 'general'.

The ministry was caught in trouble after Terry’s manager had threatened to sue the government over the alleged resemblance of the photograph with the footballer. The picture that had an uncanny resemblance to the Chelsea captain, Terry, was circulated in May last year to be used on tobacco packets marketed after December.

While, the health ministry officials maintained that the existing picture was a mere sketch and did not relate to any person living or dead, the decision to change the picture was taken last month after the law ministry’s advice.

In their recommendation, the law ministry had said that the individual's picture need not be put and instead the message to the masses about the injurious affects of smoking should not be diluted.

The photos were changed last year from mild to harsh after a survey had suggested that the existing warnings were not proving to be effective.

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