The Smokescreen Festival (“the most dangerous music festival on earth,” the ads warned) turned out to be a very clever anti-smoking campaign by Mushroom Marketing.
It set up media speculation through a teaser campaign, including street posters and a 17-second video. After announcing the headliners were hip hop act M4-CEMA and glam rockers The Coughin’ Nails, their two tracks, recorded for the campaign, were posted online.
Mushroom revealed it was actually a campaign aimed at young folks to deglamorise smoking and reveal that nearly 15,000 Australians die each year from smoking-related illnesses.
Mushroom Marketing is a division of Michael Gudinski’s empire. Gudinski admitted, “We have certainly fooled some people, I had band managers contact me asking to be on the bill!”