Post A: Malicious design @ ‘the youth’

For this post I want to explore the way design assists effective malicious targeting of children and youth through deceptive visual propaganda, cultural manipulation, malicious sponsorship of art and cultural events and infrastructure.

Tobbaco control activist and multi award recipient Lisda Sundari of indonesia states, “We have a duty to tell children they are being targeted and encourage them to fight back. Through the voices of the youth, we can change the world.” (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019) The way to successfully do this is through well designed systems and campaigns.

Although design may be a part of the solution, I want to explore how it’s being used in a negative sense amongst stake holders within Yogyakarta Indonesia. Firstly cultural manipulation, this is being conceived in a number of ways, firstly through tobacco companies direct and boastful sponsorship of music/ cultural events. This is highly malicious in the sense that they certainly know a younger more impressionable audience will be reached. Design is thus further at work here as it is employed into the visual propaganda spread throughout these festivals. For example, Java Jazz music festival in Jakarta was sponsored by Djarum Super Mild with the headliners performing under a large cigarette advertisement. (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)  In response to this design has been implemented through the creation of the Tune Out Tobacco campaign in an effort to fight tobacco until Indonesia strengthens its laws. (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)

Malicious design in favour of stake holders can be seen targeting kids directly through infrastructure. Access and affordability has been designed in a number of ways, firstly shops and retailers, this infrastructure almost always sells cigarettes and includes snacks, sweets and soda, thus invitation and incentive is created for children. This problem persists as these vendors are also mobile, the design choice of portability further allows for maximisation of accessibility to children as vendors can target specific places, e.g schools. On the opposite end, stationary unmanned vending machines and kiosks create a huge problem as children have unsupervised and unlimited access to products. Vendors are furthermore provided with monetary insensitive to display their tobacco products. (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)

Lastly malicious and creative advertising to target youth. The industry specifically designs flavoured tobacco products to appeal to a younger audience, according to the tiny targets campaign 71% of flavoured tobacco was sold or advertised around schools. Malicious designed advertising like this exists heavily within Indonesia, one of the recent examples being PT Djarum’s slogan “DON’T QUIT.” And another billboard depicting a young man reaching out to catch up with friends on a bus, with the line: ‘Dying is better than leaving a friend. Sampoerna is a cool friend.’ (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2019)

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2019). The Toll of Tobacco in Indonesia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2019). Indonesia Tobacco Giant’s Shameful Billboard Says “DON’T QUIT”.


Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019].

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2019). Lisda Sundari of Indonesia Honored for Leadership in Fight Against Tobacco Use. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2019]. (2019). Antismoking Coalition Gives Big Tobacco a Fight in Indonesia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019]. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019].

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