Nowadays, tobacco is advertised by tobacco industries in many different ways. It is typically advertised through a variety of media, and through sponsorship, particularly of sporting events. Tobacco advertising is one of the most highly-regulated forms of marketing, along with alcohol advertising.
Target MarketsThroughout the years, the targeted audience of the tobacco advertising campaigns has changed. Some cigarette brands are specifically targeted towards a particular age group. For example, the Joe Camel campaign was created to attract young smokers. A class action lawsuit therefore accused this campaign of targeting people below the legal smoking age. Under the pressure of many anti-smoking organizations, the Federal Trade Commission and the US Congress, Camel was forced to end its campaign in 1997.
BudgetsTobacco companies have always had large budgets for their advertising campaigns. According to the Federal Trade Commission, cigarette manufactures spent more than $8 billion on advertising and promotion in 1999, the highest amount ever. Despite many restrictions on advertising, this increase in budgets was due to an attempt to appeal to a younger audience. In order to do so, tobacco companies included offers and giveaways, such as lighters, hats and t-shirts along with the more traditional store and magazine advertising.
Anti-smoking groups as well as government health departments have created their own advertisement against tobacco to try to counter the advertising of tobacco. The commercials are mainly on how to stop smoking, and the health risks of tobacco.
Sponsorship in SportsFor a wide period of time, tobacco companies sponsored many sports, especially car racing. In June 1997, one month after a general election won by the Labor Party, Frank Dobson, the British Health Secretary, announced that sponsorship in all sports by tobacco companies would be banned. In the United States however, some tobacco companies still sponsor sports. For instance, Marlboro continues to sponsor Ferrari.
Advertising around the World:
United States of America
Eight states and the District of Columbia place some restrictions on
tobacco advertising and promotion. Furthermore, 21 states and the District
of Columbia prohibit where free samples of tobacco products can be distributed
to the general public. Unfortunately, states are limited to restrict
cigarette advertising and promotion because of a provision in the Federal
Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act.
sold in Canada must display warning messages since December 20, 2000.
These warnings cover 50% of the space on a pack. One side is an English
warning, the other is in French (since Canada has two official languages).
European Union requires that cigarette packages display one of 14 warnings.
There are 42 illustrated warnings that the members of the EU can choose
from. Belgium was the only European country to hold off on this law
until April 2007.
In 2003, the Indian government passed the Cigarettes and other Tobacco
Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce,
Production, Supply and Distribution) Act.
In July 2006, a regulation was published showing the four health warning
messages that were to be portrayed on cigarette packs in India after
11 February 2007. A revised set of warnings was issued in 2007. It is
not known to us whether these warnings are yet displayed on packages.
After July 1, 2004, cigarettes sold in Singapore were required to display
one of six health warning messages. The messages were required to cover
at least 50% of the cigarette package front and back. On October 1,
2006, new health warnings came into effect.
On August 29, 2007, the United Kingdom government issued a new regulation
to provide for 15 new health warnings on cigarette packs, effective
on October 1st, 2008. These new warnings are taken from those developed
by the European Union, and selected through a public consultation process.
On October 2006, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region gazetted
changes to its Smoking Ordinance. Among other things (including ban
on misleading descriptors), the new regulations required that by October
27, 2007 all cigarettes sold in Hong Kong display 50% health warning
messages in both Chinese (Mandarin) and English. Each of the 6 messages
must be shown in equal rotation over a 12 month period.
After March 25, 2005, Thailand requires that each pack of cigarettes
includes a health warning that covers at least 50% of both sides of
the package. In October 2006, a new set of 9 health warning messages
(including some of the original warnings) was approved. The new warnings
came into effect in 2007.
After March 1, 2006, cigarettes sold in Australia must be packaged with
the following health warnings. The warnings must cover 30% of the front
and 90% of the back of the cigarette package.
Seven warnings are rotated within brands, and after 12 months, a different
set of seven warnings is used.