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Jakarta Post

New cigarette advertising targets teens

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 13, 2014   /  12:17 pm

American global cigarette and tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) has launched an aggressive new marketing campaign to revitalize its Marlboro brand in more than 50 countries despite a German court'€™s findings that the campaign targets youth and similar complaints in other countries, a report issued today by six international public health organizations says.

The new report titled You'€™re the Target reveals that to target the youth, the cowboy on the horse has been replaced with youth on a mountain bike and snowboard.

The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) said PMI had continued to aggressively roll-out the newly launched '€œBe Marlboro'€ campaign globally, including in Indonesia and the Philippines where smoking prevalence remained high.

'€œBoth the Philippines and Indonesia are cash cows for PMI and other tobacco companies,'€ SEATCA senior policy advisor Mary Assunta said in a release made available to The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

There are 17 million smokers in the Philippines and 65 million smokers in Indonesia, reports say.

'€œThe fact that PMI continues with the Marlboro campaign in Asia despite being found guilty in Germany only goes to show they want Asia'€™s children no matter what. We have to stop them and protect our children using stringent laws,'€ said Assunta.

Launched in Germany in 2011, the global marketing campaign associates smoking Marlboro with a youth-friendly lifestyle of risk-taking, exploration and freedom by delivering a message '€œDon'€™t Be a Maybe. Be Marlboro'€.

The ads feature images of attractive young people engaging in adventure sports such as snowboarding, mountain biking, partying, falling in love, and playing music.

The campaign tells young audiences that '€œMaybe never fell in love'€ or '€œA maybe is not invited'€ and they should define themselves by choosing to '€œBe Marlboro'€.

In October 2013, a German court banned the '€œBe Marlboro'€ campaign, saying that it encouraged children as young as 14 to smoke in violation of Germany'€™s tobacco advertising law.

'€œThe advertising specifically targets risk-taking, rebellious youths,'€ the court said. Complaints that the campaign targets youth and violates advertising regulations have also been filed in Brazil, Colombia and Switzerland. (ebf)

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