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Tobacco marketing in the contemporary world

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  1. Introduction
  2. The changes of mentalities: A matter of public health
    1. Tobacco kills
    2. Responsible firms
  3. Marketing facing the change in mentalities
    1. Advertising before the new legislation
    2. Restriction of the new legislations
    3. Finding new ways of being heard
  4. Coping with other kinds of legislation
    1. Legislation
    2. Necessity to evolve
  5. Conclusion
  6. Appendix
  7. Bibliography

After being brought back from the New World and being cultivated first in Portugal during the 16th century, tobacco has gradually become a good for mass consumption all around the world, passing from a status of medicinal plant to the one of a luxury product and eventually to something very cool, that everybody, even the poorest, can afford. But this sharp image that occurred during the first part of the second half of the 20th century, beginning with the American GI's smoking cigarettes and then spread by stars smoking, evolved into a new much less attractive image. The cigarette gradually stopped being something cool and became something that kills 500,000 people a year only in Europe. People realized that it multiplies the risks of lung cancer by 10, and reduces the life expectancy by 8 to 10 years for those who smoke more than half of packet a day and so on and so forth? As a matter of fact, tobacco companies have had to change their marketing strategies to face this new vision of tobacco among the public opinion.

[...] For example, Philip Morris spent nearly 1 billion dollars on this region of the world in 2000. Diversification - Most of the tobacco giants do not consider cigarettes to be their leading activity. For example, the distribution of numerous products and services represents a significant sector for Altadis. This group is present in France with Altadis Distribution and in Italy with the recent acquisition of Etinera in 2004. It is also present in Spain with its subsidiary Logista: in 2002, Logista bought the Burgal group which is specialized in the distribution of pharmaceutical products. [...]


[...] It has been very difficult for us to get an interview with marketing and communication directors of tobacco firms because none of them agreed to answer to the questionnaire we sent them. One of them sent us back several answers but managed to avoid giving his point of view. The lack of answers testifies how controversial this sector is and how difficult it is to get personal information on marketing strategies. Bibliography Stehli, Le marché du tabac vers la clandestinité CB news. [...]


[...] Tobacco companies also tried to market so-called revolutionary products: - in the 1990's Philip Morris produced Next, a cigarette without nicotine, to fight against consumers' addiction; - in 1997 RJR marketed Eclipse, a cigarette which delivered nine times less smoke than usual cigarettes, to fight against second-hand smoking. But both of them were failures. It is thus very difficult to create healthier products while satisfying demand; moreover there is a debate about the efficiency of researches: tobacco companies seem to be responsible for they care about the quantity of tar, but it is often said that innovations like Eclipse aim only at giving back a good image to cigarettes. [...]

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