MARKETING TACTICS

 

Did you know that billions of dollars are spent on tobacco-related advertisements and promotions? For years, the tobacco industry had used authority figures (such as physicians and nurses) in ads to show the use of tobacco products as normal and harmless. In addition to television and magazine advertisements, tobacco companies have used the following methods for years to promote their products:

  • Have retailers place tobacco products in the most visible locations of the store

  • Have retailers create discounts & coupons and place marketing materials inside and outside the store

  • Give out free samples of tobacco products to communities of color and low-income communities

  • Have billboards set up that promote tobacco products (near churches, parks, stadiums, health centers, homes, schools, along streets and shopping centers - to name a few)

  • Sponsor events while promoting tobacco companies in such events (examples of these events include: sporting, music concerts, art exhibits, dancing performances, cultural events, rodeos, car races, etc.)

 

Click on any of the pictures below to read more:

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

An example of an ad promoting a music event, geared towards the African American community, sponsored by a tobacco company.

TARGET: YOUTH

TARGET: YOUTH

Candy & Cigarettes?

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

The tobacco industry created advertisements like these to target the LGBTQ community.

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

An example of an ad promoting PRIDE event, geared towards the LGBTQ community, and sponsored by tobacco companies.

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

An example of a cigarette advertisement, targeted specifically to African Americans.

TARGET: YOUTH

TARGET: YOUTH

Though Joe Camel is no longer around, tobacco manufacturers continue to target youth with advertisements that make smoking look "cool" and "sweet" with cheap prices, and different flavors that appeal to youth.

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

Menthol masks the harshness of the nicotine in cigarettes. The African American community has long been disproportionately targeted with menthol cigarettes.Studies show that more than 75% of menthol smokers are African American.

TARGET: YOUTH

TARGET: YOUTH

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

Virginia Slims "If you always follow the straight and narrow, you'll never know what's around the corner". Author: Phillip Morris, 1993

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

Example of a cigarette ad featuring an African American couple.

TARGET: YOUTH

TARGET: YOUTH

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

TARGET: LGBTQ COMMUNITY

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

TARGET: AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

An example of how the tobacco industry supports African American organizations.

Such activities have been linked to an increase in the number of youth that start smoking at an early age. In 2011, a study conducted by Stanford University showed that the sale of menthol cigarettes were lower in price near Californian high schools. In addition to the study’s findings about lower prices, it was also found that the sale of menthol cigarettes were heavily marketed to African American youth.

 

The truth is that the tobacco industry has long marketed its products to African American communities. Not only has the industry targeted the African American community; Youth, LGBTQ+, and other ethnic and minority communities also are targeted by the industry. This has created such communities to suffer disproportionately from tobacco-related illnesses and diseases.

 

 

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QUOTES FROM THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY:

 Brown & Williamson, 

 1984 

"Clearly the sole reason for B&W's interest in the Black and Hispanic communities is the actual and potential sales of B&W products within these communities and the profitability of these sales...this relatively small and often tightly knit [minority] community can work to B&W's marketing advantage, if exploited properly."

"Our profile taken locally shows this brand [Newport] being purchased by Black people (all ages), young adults (usually college age), but the base of our business is the high school student."

 Phillip Morris, 

 1981 

"Today's teenager is tomorrow's potential regular customer, and the overwhelming majority of smokers first begin to smoke while still in their teens."

 Bennet Leslow, Lard

and L&M Cigarettes

"We don't smoke that s___. We just sell it. We reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the Black and stupid."

 RJ Reynolds,

1992 

"If you are really and truly not going to sell to children, you are going to be out of business in 30 years."

 Lorillard,

1970