Marlboro cigarettes – history of failure, then success

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The amazing Marlboro cigarette brand began in England 1847 and was initially targeted at female smokers. Aiming at this market segment was not successful, so in the 1920’s Marlboro was re targeted to female smokers in the United States. In this campaign it was stressed that Marlboro was a ‘mild’ cigarette. These efforts continued into World War II when the brand was eventually taken off the market.

In the 1950’s Marlboro was again introduced to the market, this time on the heels of a stories about the negative health aspects of smoking. At the time, the vast majority of cigarettes being sold were non filtered. Marlboro was a filtered cigarette, so this clearly was an attempt to win over the health conscience crowd.

Later, during the 50’s, the company decided to dump the targeting of women and began promoting Marlboro as a man’s cigarette. The first icon of this new change in marketing was the ‘Tatooed Man’ depicted on this page. Various images of healthy looking, outdoor type began showing up in ads.

The images used in their ads evolved more and more into those depicting particularly macho types. In the beginning, images of naval officers and livestock ranchers made the advertising scene. In 1954, the now well known ‘Marlboro Man’ was introduced, and by 1963 was the sole representative of Marlboro ads.

Around 1972, Marlboro cigarettes became the most popular brand, and have remained so, for the most part since then.

While the Marlboro brand may not be ranked at the top any longer, it still retains a value in excess of $21 billion. That figure places it above such brands as American Express, Hewlett Packard, and Gillette.

Marlboro Naming Scheme in Transition

In mid August of 2006, a federal district court ruled that the names ‘Light’, ‘Ultralight’, ‘Natural’, or ‘Mild’ could not be used. The judge said that these names were misleading to smokers in the sense that they conveyed some positive health effect. The ruling further stipulated that names changes must occur at the beginning of 2007.

Tentatively, Philip Morris has decided to use a color naming scheme for their products that previously used the banned words in the name of their product. Given that, they have decided that Marlboro Lights would be called Marlboro Golds and that Marlboro Ultralights would be named Marlboro Silvers.

Additional Links About Marlboro Cigarettes

  • Marlboro Cigarettes Wikipedia

Bloomberg seeks an end to cheap cigarettes – nytimes.com

Its companion bill, however, has the potential to be just as groundbreaking, experts on tobacco control said. Along with strengthening the penalties on retailers that evade tobacco taxes, the second bill establishes a minimum price for cigarettes and cigarillos, or little cigars, of $10.50 a pack, the first time such a strategy has been used to combat smoking. The bill also prohibits retailers from redeeming coupons or offering other discounts, like two for one deals.

This is kind of a landmark set of proposals here, said Kurt Ribisl, a professor of public health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, whose research on tobacco control influenced Mr. Bloomberg s proposal. For someone like me, who s spent 18 years studying point of sale issues, this is kind of big.

Dr. Ribisl studies what happens at the retail counter, where a customer at a typical convenience store sees a colorful array of signs, packaging and shelf talkers the small tags that flutter from shelves promoting two for one, dollar off and other types of deals. According to a Federal Trade Commission report issued last year, the tobacco industry spent $6.5 billion on discounts in 2010, and Dr. Ribisl said they are one of the major ways cigarette makers encourage price conscious customers like teenagers and low income smokers to buy.

New York s price regulation bill would, in effect, close off the remaining means of access to cheap cigarettes and little cigars, which make it easier for teenagers to experiment with smoking, and progress to smoking regularly, said Brett Loomis, a researcher at RTI International, a nonprofit institute that offers research and technical services to governments and businesses.

City and state taxes already add $5.85 to the cost of every pack, the highest cigarette taxes in the country. About half of all states, including New York, also require wholesalers and retailers to mark the price of cigarettes up by a certain percentage. The laws were generally intended to protect business in small stores by preventing large chains from selling cigarettes below cost, as so called loss leaders, which draw in customers.

Mr. Bloomberg s proposal, which will be taken up by the City Council, goes beyond those laws by specifying a minimum price. The health department said $10.50 was the median price of the lowest priced packs in more than 300 city stores. That, and the prohibition on coupons or discounts, will thwart the tobacco companies ability to prey on low income and minority smokers, Dr. Ribisl said.

David Sutton, a spokesman for Altria, parent company of Philip Morris USA, said the city should focus on eradicating the illegal cigarette trade, rather than further restricting retailers, who are already required to perform age checks on customers.

Piling on additional regulations designed to get at youth access when the sales compliance rate at licensed retailers is very, very high already we just don t think that s the right approach, Mr. Sutton said.

As for the ban on discounts, Mr. Bloomberg, who is accustomed to setting an example for other municipalities in public health initiatives, from smoking bans to calorie counts, may have looked to Providence, R.I., which passed an ordinance forbidding retailers from honoring coupons and discounts last January.

Tobacco companies sued, but the federal district judge ruled for Providence, which defended its right to regulate sales and prices within the city. Though the tobacco companies have appealed, the ban went into effect on Jan. 3. Mr. Bloomberg s tobacco control bills are also almost certain to be challenged in court.

We felt that these coupons and multipack discounts were a loophole, said Providence s mayor, Angel Taveras, and we felt it was important to close this loophole, especially because it was a matter of life and death. We anticipated getting sued, but it was worth the fight.

As for Mr. Bloomberg s announcement, Mr. Taveras said he wished his crusading counterpart all the best.

I m not sure that he needs any advice from me, he said.