Marketing Tobacco Term Paper

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[. . .] So, although R.J. Reynolds did not select magazines that only targeted the youth market, it did select media that was heavily consumed by this audience. Even if tobacco companies had not advertised in youth oriented magazines, more than half of all youth are exposed to cigarette advertisements in adult publications.

Another clever way R.J. Reynolds used to keep cigarette brands constantly in front of children and to circumvent restrictions on advertising is known as "brand stretching" that uses cigarette logos on other products. In 1992, R.J. Reynolds introduced the Camel Cash promotion that offered coupons in packs of Camel cigarettes. Consumers could redeem Camel Cash for items with obvious appeal to young people such as flip-flops, insulators for beverage cans, jackets, towels, T-shirts, and hats-- all featuring the Joe Camel logo. Overall cigarette advertising expenditures for these types of promotional items quadrupled from $184 million to $756 million, between 1991 and 1993. Thirty percent of all children between the ages of twelve and seventeen own at least one tobacco promotional item. These items carry no health warnings and are easily obtained by kids.

Most damning to R.J. Reynolds was not its use of advertising and promotions which also reach over 18-year-old readers, but its blatant use of the sales channel as a way to attract young smokers. In a memo written in 1990 and later made public, a RJR division manager encouraged his sales representatives to make calls to stores located across from, adjacent to, or in the vicinity of high schools.

The California Department of Health surveyed 5,773 stores around the state and the results of the survey clearly support the claim that the tobacco industry intentionally targets people under the age of 18. The survey found that most tobacco promotions were placed within 1,000 feet of a school, many displays in stores were placed three feet high and near candy displays, and many more outdoor signs promoting tobacco were located near schools than in other places.

In June 1997, nine years after the Joe Camel campaign began, R.J. Reynolds ended the use of Joe Camel as part of a settlement reached between the tobacco industry and legal opponents suing to recover the costs of smoking-related illnesses. R.J. Reynolds has also been fending off efforts by the Federal Trade Commission to abolish the character and had come under increasing public pressure as well.

1996 poll conducted by the American Heart Association found that the public was becoming frustrated with tobacco industry as evidenced by the following observations:

Seventy three percent believe tobacco ads without pictures and cartoons would make smoking less appealing to kids,

Seventy four percent think cigarette pack coupons for promotional items which appeal to youth should be eliminated,

Sixty one percent of adults believe that the tobacco industry encourages teenagers to smoke,

Eighty eight percent think their member of Congress should support the Food and Drug Administration's proposal to stop the sale and marketing of cigarettes to children,

Forty seven percent said they would be less likely to vote for a local member of Congress who was accepting campaign contributions from the tobacco companies, and Eighty one percent of Americans do not trust tobacco companies to promote voluntary restrictions on the sale and marketing of their products to children.

A spokesperson for R.J. Reynolds asserted that positive consumer responses to a new advertising campaign, not public pressure, led to the decision to discontinue the use of Joe Camel.

However, public pressure did not mean that R.J. Reynolds would stop targeting young smokers, but it did mean that the company would have to change its marketing tactics to appease their opponents.

Studies have found that advertising expenditures for Marlboro, Camel, and Newport cigarettes actually increased in magazines heavily read by young people in the year following the settlement. Tobacco companies spent $58.5 million to advertise the three brands in youth-oriented magazines in 1998 and $67.4 million in 1999. In these magazines, many tobacco companies no longer use characters to sell their cigarettes. For its part, R.J. Reynolds replaced the use of a cartoon character with a new Rated campaign aimed at the youth market that depicted sex and rebellion. In the ad, the father is made to look stupid while chasing his daughter's boyfriend. RJR rates this ad as SS for "Satisfied Smoking," FV for "Farm Violence" and AN for "Animal Nudity." A year later, Phillip Morris ceased using its Marlboro Man in advertisements.

Tobacco companies now make less use of billboards and gear with cigarette brand logos on them. Now, tobacco giants are emphasizing point of sales advertising and give away promotions linked to cigarette purchase. Also, companies are introducing new products that they believe will be appealing to the youth market. R.J. Reynolds has introduced a new line of flavored cigarettes that many critics believe is a blatant attempt to sell to teens. Tobacco companies are also increasing their efforts in developing countries where public outcry and political opposition isn't as strong as in the United States and where they can get by with marketing practices that are outlawed in this country. As a result, the tobacco industry in enjoying huge success in their new target markets. The teen smoking rate in some Latin American cities is now fifty percent and the smoking rate among primary school children in Kenya is more than forty percent.

It's amusing that, as part of their settlement, tobacco companies have agreed to conduct advertising campaigns to discourage young people from smoking. Anti-smoking advocates are outraged because they believe the tobacco industry has used these adds to encourage tobacco use by the young. According to the campaigns critics, "By leaving out the health dangers, ignoring addiction, and glamorizing smoking as an "adult custom," these campaigns reinforce the industry's advertising theme presenting smoking as a way for children to exert independence and be grown up."

All evidence indicates that tobacco companies pursue youths at an early age in their hopes of getting a life-time customer. Tremendous public pressure and court rulings have taken measures to stop tobacco companies. As a result, we've seen some of the more obvious marketing tactics for the youth market eliminated in the United States. Today, we no longer have Joe Camel or the Marlboro Man. However, nothing has really changed. But, all that's really happened is that cartoon characters have been replaced with less obvious youth appealing messages. Advertising to youth is on the rise and market reach is expanding to lesser developed countries. It's apparent that the tobacco industry will continue to target its life-time customer for the life time of the tobacco industry.

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It's Not Easy to Kick Butt."

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Magazine Ads.

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Magazine Ads. (26).

Tobacco Marketing To Young People, Young People: A Key Expansion Market. (26).

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Dreyfuss, Robert. "Joe Camel's Tracks,. The FDA can prove tobacco companies put cigarettes where kids are likely to be." Mother Jones. (2 (26" 7 Nov. 2002).

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Boyles, Salynn. "Joe Camel May Be Gone, But Legacy Lives On." WebMD Medical News, Aug 15, 2001. Nov. 2002).

Tobacco Marketing To Young People, Young People: A Key Expansion Market. (26). [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Marketing Tobacco.  (2002, November 28).  Retrieved February 19, 2019, from

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"Marketing Tobacco."  28 November 2002.  Web.  19 February 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Marketing Tobacco."  November 28, 2002.  Accessed February 19, 2019.