The Grand Finale of Battle of Minds (BoM) 2017 is set to be held on December 06, 2017 at the Radisson Blu Water Garden hotel in Dhaka. This is the last stage of the ‘recruitment\ process of British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB).
The event is being held annually since 2004 with BATB sponsorship.
A press release, issued from PROGGA – a leading anti-tobacco organization of Bangladesh, has termed the competition as a promotional event for BATB.
Despite claiming BoM as recruitment platform, mostly the competition allows the final round competitors to participate directly in BATB’s recruitment exam, says the press release.
According to the information, BoM mostly promotes the BATB in the guise of recruiting youths at the organization. In the excuse of recruiting youths in past 13 years (2004 – 2016), only a 100 or few more have been recruited though the number of participants is over 15 thousand.
However, BATB spends worth millions after conducting promotional activities like road shows in universities, events in star-rated hotels, banner and festoon campaign, trips and other recreational activities.
The anti-tobacco organization believes that BATB organizes the event annually to entrap the youths by the name of so-called ‘merit justification’ and influence the policymakers.
The Grand Finale will be held by the selected candidates from over 2000 applicants of different universities.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor, Mohammad Sayeed Khokan, is supposed to be the Chief Guest.
Notably, the Section 5.1 of the existing Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act 2005 bans all forms of sponsorship or awards for tobacco promotion or advertisement to inspire its consumption.
Even the section 5.3 of the law, applying tobacco company name, sign, trademark or logo for social responsibilities is also a punishable offense. The law violation will result in a monetary fine not exceeding Tk 100,000 or a simple imprisonment not exceeding three months, or both penalties are applicable.