OK this has been pissing me off. Xu Bing is an artist that has been working with tobacco, he finds it interesting and he made a tiger rug out of cigarettes.
Looks cool everyone loves it and it is being used to bring attention to smoking and how people die from the addiction. But then I thought "WAIT! where the hell did all of the cigarettes come from for the rug?" He bought them! He effing bought them! 500,000 cigarettes! That's $125,000 in the pockets of the cigarette company and that's if they are cheap. Plus his dad died from smoking! What a slap in the face. Here is a video of him doing some art stuff. If you watch it you see the delivery of the cigarettes.
So not only dose this guy drop a pretty penny which I am worried he got a grant for. But no one has questioned it. In the video you see other artist assembling it, some dude bringing in the cigs, plus there are all of the posts all over the internet saying how cool this is and how it brings awareness. I am sorry but I feel if you are going to spend so much money to go towards awareness it should at least not go to the opposite of what your working for.
So the exhibit is open for two months the average attendance for a year is half a mill the two month average would be 83,333 people seeing this exhibit. If the same amount of money is used by the tobacco company they could get 62 billboards for a month each. If you take the amount of people that will view the art exhibit and divide that by the amount of billboards that could be put up that's only 1,344 views per billboard to reach the same amount of viewers looking at a beautiful woman with a stunning advertisement for smoking.
Just think of how many people are out on the roads every day how many people pass a billboard! They could put 1.21 billboards in every state with the money this dude shelled out for this art. So he basically funded a one month nation wide tobacco ad campaign. The amount of people that will see his art could be dwarfed by the amount of people that the tobacco company's could reach with the money he gave them!
I am not surprised that big company's get away with what they do. People like this are trying to make a statement but in the long run don't think things thru long enough to keep from digging their own graves.