Monday, March 15, 2010
Have tobacco companies stopped advertising their products to children? A five-year study published March 15, 2010 in the journal Pediatrics found that nearly half of teenage girls participating in the study could name their favorite cigarette ad. This in spite of U.S. government advertising restrictions required by the 1998 Big Tobacco settlement agreement. This study is the fifth installment of a nationally representative sample of teenagers that was designed to assess whether cigarette ads run after the tobacco settlement had any effect on adolescents.
“These are the same people that brought us Joe Camel, a very big campaign with multiple different components," said study author John Pierce, a professor of family and preventive medicine and director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego. "Now it seems like what they're doing is trying a campaign, and then when people complain, they change and do something else."
The controversy surrounds Camel No. 9 whose ads featured a pink camel and a sub-brand of cigarettes called Stiletto. In addition to the very feminine ads placed in such magazines as Glamour and Vogue, the campaign also featured promotional giveaways, including flavored lip balm, purses and cell phone jewelry.
"This article presents credible evidence that the Camel No. 9 cigarette advertising campaign has targeted underaged girls," the researchers wrote.
R.J. Reynolds stands by its claim that Camel No. 9’s advertisements were not designed to attract teenagers.
Managing Senior Fellow & Senior Program Officer, Partnership for Prevention