American Idol's Kelly Clarkson in a "Lose-Lose" Situation


Updated  7:58 pm ET, 4/21/10

by Paula Reid,CBS News Investigative Unit

American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson is coming under fire for allowing the tobacco industry to sponsor her upcoming concert in Indonesia.

 International health advocates are urging Clarkson to withdraw tobacco industry sponsorship of her April 29 concert in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Clarkson's concert is sponsored and promoted by the tobacco company PT Djarum under its cigarette brand LA Lights. A poster promoting the concert shows Clarkson's image under the heading "LA Lights" and carries health warnings similar to cigarette ads in the United States.

"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," Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a press release.

Clarkson responded to criticism on her blog Wednesday afternoon saying she only just learned about the tobacco sponsorship but would not be canceling her concert in Indonesia. "I can't justify penalizing my fans for someone else's oversight," Clarkson wrote, "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 Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) has also urged Clarkson to withdraw the tobacco sponsorship.

In a letter to Clarkson, SEATCA said: "It is not too late to rectify the situation...It is important that you and your music are not associated with cigarettes and ill health."

And it's not just officials who are protesting. Clarkson's fans have posted hundreds of messages on Clarkson's Facebook fan page urging her to renounce the sponsorship and sent more than 1,300 e-mails to Clarkson's management.

Federal law in the United States bans tobacco companies from sponsoring entertainment and sporting events.

But Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, does allow tobacco companies to advertise their products at concerts, in movies, on television, and at sporting events.

Indonesia is also one of the few countries in the world that has not signed the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which bans all tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships. About 35 percent of the Indonesian population smokes, and tobacco use kills more than 200,000 Indonesians each year.

In July 2008, singer Alicia Keyes withdrew Philip Morris sponsorship of her concert in Jakarta after public outcry.