Press Release : 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 with the sponsorship of British American Tobacco Bangladesh. Despite terming it as recruitment platform, mostly the competition allows the final round competitors to participate directly in BATB’s recruitment exam. BoM mostly promotes the BATB in the guise of recruiting youths at the organization. In the name 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. 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. Sources informed that the Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor, Mohammad Sayeed Khokan, will be present as the Chief Guest, but the Prime Minister has pledged to make the country tobacco-free by 2040 realizing its detrimental impacts.
Notably, the Section 5.1 of the 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, using tobacco company name, sign, trademark or logo for social activities 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. To protect the youths from the clutch of tobacco companies, the Battle of Minds 2017 of BATB should be stopped immediately.