Kool for Kids
The Seduction of American Youth
This ad, run in Latina magazine, pretty much sums up the industry's strategy. One can't help but be drawn to the seductive young temptress -- with the penetrating and alluring eyes. She maintains just the right curvature to her body; suggesting she's a worthwhile adventure.

Where is she looking? Of course, at the strong, masculine man walking up her way. He has box of Kools and a smoke in one hand; his watch band and muscular arm suggest a rugged, strong, no-nonsense type of guy. Definitely, this is a man who is confident and in control. The message: this is the way to attract the attention a sexy woman -- even one who is escorted by another man.

As one continues to examine the image, the suttle, if not subliminal, "B Kool" tag in the upper left corner comes into view. Be cool, be a desired man -- smoke...

Another Tobacco Industry Lie
The tobacco industry faces mounting pressure from political and social groups for the seduction of America's youth. It is now well-known that over 80% of all smokers become addicted to tobacco products before they reach the legal age to smoke.

To combat the growing teen smoking epidemic, pro-health advocates call for greater restrictions on advertising. One of the biggest offenders is Philip Morris.

"Marlboro is the largest brand in the industry with twice the share of its nearest competitor. Its established packings are the dominant leaders in their respective product categories" [1]. "Marlboro is the number one selling brand in all trading areas except Hawaii, where it ranks third behind Kool and Benson & Hedges" [4].

In the Philip Morris advertisement at right, the image of the smiling and happy woman is supported by the slogan, "Sometimes I Need A Minute To Catch Up With Myself."
Just Need a Minute

The industry responds to these criticisms saying they don't target underage youth. In fact, they emphasize they don't try to convince anyone to begin smoking. They claim their advertising and promotional campaigns are designed to maintain their present market share of smoking customers, reduce defection of their brand smokers who might consider another company's brand; and entice smokers of other brands to try their products.

This just isn't true. From a May 1975 Philip Morris document marked confidential (download complete PDF copy of report [775k]), we learn how important the youth market is to a brand like Marlboro:
"I think Dr. Dunn's memo has very effectively dispelled the notion that nicotine reductions have been the cause of the slackening in the rate of growth of Marlboro Red... It was my contention that Marlboro's phenomenal growth rate in the past has been attributable in large part to our high market penetration among younger smokers and the rapid growth in that population segment. I pointed out that the number of 15-19 year-olds is now increasing more slowly and will peak in 1976, and then begin to decline" (p.1).

"It has been well established by the National Tracking Study and other studies that Marlboro has for many years had its highest market penetration among younger smokers. Most of these studies have been restricted to people age 18 and over, but my own data, which includes younger teenagers, shows even higher Marlboro market penetration among 15-17 year-olds. The teenage years are also important because those are the years during which most smokers begin to smoke, the years in which initial brand selections are made, and the period in the life-cycle in which conformity to peer-group norms is greatest" (p.1).
In our continued search of the Philip Morris document archive, we found an excellent review of the history of tobacco advertising. Download PDF copy of History of Cigarette Advertising (1.5M). The report begins with the breakup of the tobacco trust by the Federal government in 1911. It appears to be incomplete and ends in 1961. This 1987 paper authored by Dr. Richard W. Pollay, Curator, Professor of Marketing, Faculty of Commerce, provides a chonology of the History of Cigarette Advertising. It is marked as confidential.

From another tobacco industry document (listed below), we uncovered the insider's truth about the tobacco market. Philip Morris executives state, "Marlboro's biggest source of smokers continues to be smokers with 'no previous brand,' roughly half of whom are starting smokers. In 1987 this group contributed 33% of Marlboro in-switchers" [19].

Philip Morris executives add "Internal Marlboro switching is the second largest component." From the document, we see for the years, 1985-87, over half of all those who became Marlboro smokers had either previously not been smokers or had been smoking another Marlboro brand, i.e., Marlboro Red smokers who switched to the supposedly low-tar Marlboro Light product.

In a 1993 Philip Morris study, the researchers found "the change from Marlboro Red to another brand is mainly determined by the "boring" image of Marlboro Red, and because of the negative product characteristics (throat irritation, headaches, one gets fed up with it) that the out-switcher has experienced" [4].

The Youth Factor
This document provides additional insight into youth marketing. Philip Morris executives report that, "although the data available is limited, Marlboro Menthol appears to be skewing male, extremely young, and White" [16]. They add that, "the fastest growing segments continue to be the youngest smokers" [15]. Philip Morris has always claimed to be an equal opportunity drug dealer, we see evidence of this in this document. "Qualitative research is underway to investigate Hispanic attitudes toward Marlboro, particulary among the young segments. Results will be available shortly" [15].

Actually, the youth factor seems to raise a marketing problem with Philip Morris -- not a political one. When discussing demographic profiles of smokers by their various brands, PM executives note that "The latter has a lower median age than Red (27.2 vs. 28.9), raising an interesting question; at what point will it be so much younger that it is obvious to our consumers, and what effect will this have on Lights or Red [14]?

Source: Philip Morris -- 2048678626/8644
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

Source: Philip Morris -- 2501129231/9234
[1] [2] [3] [4]

Why Are Hispanics Important to PM? [13]
Smoking incidence among Hispanics is lower than incidence in general market: U.S. Hispanics smoke an average of 13.2 cigarettes a day versus 24.4 for their general market counterparts [14].

Philip Morris brands currently enjoy a 59.7% share of the U.S. Hispanic Smoker Market [15].

Marlboro is leading brand among Hispanic Smokers, with a 49.8% market share vs. 31.8% share of Anglo Smokers [16].

By the year 2010, project cigarette volume among Hispanics will amount to more than 30 billion units: 20 million will be attributed to Philip Morris brands [17].

Festivals/Community Events also provide unique opportunity for marketers to strengthen their equity in this market. Broad appeal, family events available in most major markets. Opportunity to sponsor booth/stages, and pass out samples or premiums [27]

Between 1980 and 1990, the U.S. Hispanic population grew by +53% (Anglo population grew by +6%; African-American population grew by +13%) [7]
Marlboro for Hispanics

87% of U.S. Hispanics reside in 10 states -- 53% live in Texas and California. Easily targetable [8].

Hispanics are younger that their general market counterparts: Median age is 26 versus 34 for U.S. population -- let set in consuming habits [9].

In 1990, U.S. Hispanice enjoyed a purchasing power of $159.2 billion -- increasing at a rate of 12% per year [10].

Spanish is the language of preference among U.S. Hispanics [11].

Hispanics are not assimilating into mainstream America like most other immigrant groups [12].

Virginia Slims ranks among top 10 brands in Hispanic Market [16]. As more marketers recognize the immense potential of the U.S. Hispanic Market and Hispanics need to be talked to in their own language, new Hispanic Media continue to emerge [19].

Virginia Slims "Busca tu Verdad" (Seeking the truth -- yes, we are Philip Morris!)

Virginia Slims - Seeking the truth

Source: Philip Morris -- 2044424613/4644
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]

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