Tobacco Unfiltered

Philip Morris International Fined in Brazil for Targeting Youth with its “Be Marlboro” Ads

Tobacco giant’s ad campaign has spread to over 50 countries

Editor
Aug 28, 2014

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Philip Morris International's “Be Marlboro” campaign is coming under fire again for targeting youth. This time, the consumer protection agency from the Brazilian state of São Paulo has fined Philip Morris over $480,000.

The agency acted after a formal complaint was filed against Philip Morris by tobacco control activists who documented how its marketing tactics were aimed at youth. Paula Johns, Executive Director of the Brazilian advocacy organization ACT, calls the campaign "cynical", noting that “independence and autonomy are associated with a product that actually makes the person dependent."

Continue reading Philip Morris International Fined in Brazil for Targeting Youth with its “Be Marlboro” Ads

posted August 28, 2014

Despite Outrage, Philip Morris International Expands Global “Be Marlboro” Campaign

Marketing campaign has been found to target teens

Editor
Jul 15, 2014

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Despite international media criticism and widespread calls from public health groups and government officials to end its "Be Marlboro" marketing campaign, Philip Morris International is doubling down and expanding its youth-oriented campaign around the globe.

A March 2014 report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups exposed how the campaign uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. With the slogan "Don’t be a Maybe. Be Marlboro," the ads feature images of attractive young people falling in love, playing music, partying, and taking risks.

Continue reading Despite Outrage, Philip Morris International Expands Global “Be Marlboro” Campaign

posted July 15, 2014

BBC Report: Philip Morris’ Be Marlboro Campaign “Aimed Unashamedly at Young People”

Ad campaign has spread to more than 50 countries

Editor
Jun 16, 2014

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A new documentary from the BBC calls out Philip Morris International for its global marketing campaign promoting Marlboro cigarettes that has been found to target youth. The BBC report finds the "Be Marlboro" ad campaign is "aimed unashamedly at young people."

A report released in March by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups exposed how the "Be Marlboro" ads uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. The ads have spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens.

Continue reading BBC Report: Philip Morris’ Be Marlboro Campaign “Aimed Unashamedly at Young People”

posted June 16, 2014

Skoal’s Return Ramps Up Smokeless Tobacco Ads in Magazines

Nearly 13 percent of high school boys use smokeless

Editor
May 28, 2014

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Cigarettes and electronic cigarettes aren’t the only tobacco products being heavily advertised in magazines with large youth readerships.

So are smokeless tobacco products, especially now that the Skoal brand is again advertising in magazines for the first time since February 2009, according to the Trinkets & Trash website, which tracks tobacco advertising.

Continue reading Skoal’s Return Ramps Up Smokeless Tobacco Ads in Magazines

posted May 28, 2014

Adult smokers love… twerking?

Latest blu eCigs video seems awfully youth-oriented

Editor
May 21, 2014

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Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes keep saying they don’t market to kids. They claim their target audience is current smokers. So how, exactly, does a video called “How to Twerk: A helpful how-to for would-be booty-shakers” fit into that strategy?

The latest addition to blu e-cigarettes’ YouTube page – and to their website – features entertainer Big Freedia teaching cheering young adults how to shake their stuff. The twerking dance craze became nationally notorious thanks to Miley Cyrus’ performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

Continue reading Adult smokers love… twerking?

posted May 21, 2014

Creative Outrage: Enter our Contest to Expose the Truth about the “Be Marlboro” Campaign

Philip Morris International ads found to target youth

Editor
Apr 21, 2014

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Last month, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups issued a report exposing how Philip Morris International (PMI) is conducting a global marketing campaign for its best-selling Marlboro cigarettes that uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. 

The “Be Marlboro” campaign has spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens.  The campaign associates “being Marlboro” with falling in love, playing music, partying, engaging in adventure sports and other activities popular with youth.

Continue reading Creative Outrage: Enter our Contest to Expose the Truth about the “Be Marlboro” Campaign

posted April 21, 2014

Take the Marlboro Teen Fashion Quiz

Is it an ad for Marlboro cigarettes or teen fashion? You decide

Editor
Mar 12, 2014

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As revealed by a report issued today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other international public health groups, Philip Morris International (PMI) is conducting a global marketing campaign for its best-selling Marlboro cigarettes – called “Be Marlboro” – that uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth.

The campaign has spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens and generating similar complaints in other countries.

“Be Marlboro” ads feature attractive young people partying, falling in love, playing music and engaging in adventure sports such as snowboarding and surfing – in short, things youth around the world aspire to do.

Continue reading Take the Marlboro Teen Fashion Quiz

posted March 12, 2014

Fighting Big Tobacco in Indonesia and Africa

News stories expose industry’s marketing to kids

Editor
Jan 29, 2014

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Indonesia and Africa are among Big Tobacco’s top targets as the industry increasingly targets low- and middle-income countries in its insatiable quest for profit, no matter the cost in lives and health.

Recent news stories document both the enormous challenges posed by the tobacco epidemic in these countries and regions – and the growing call for strong action to rein in the tobacco industry and save lives.

Continue reading Fighting Big Tobacco in Indonesia and Africa

posted January 29, 2014

New Study: Global Tobacco Marketing Impacts Young Kids

Five- and six-year-olds can identify cigarette logos

Editor
Oct 7, 2013

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Tobacco companies claim they don’t market to kids.  But a new study conducted in six low- and middle-income countries provides fresh evidence that tobacco marketing and branding are highly effective at reaching kids.

In the six countries studied – Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia – more than two-thirds of five- and six-year-olds surveyed were able to identify at least one cigarette logo.  In China, where smoking rates are among the highest in the world, an alarming 86 percent of children surveyed could identify at least one logo.

Continue reading New Study: Global Tobacco Marketing Impacts Young Kids

posted October 07, 2013

7 Ways E-Cigarette Companies Are Copying Big Tobacco’s Playbook

(or 7 reasons FDA should quickly regulate e-cigarettes)

Editor
Oct 2, 2013

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The CDC recently reported that rates of electronic cigarette use among U.S. youth more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, when 10 percent of high school students reported ever having used e-cigarettes.

These numbers are troubling but not surprising. There has been an explosion in e-cigarette marketing in recent years, and e-cigarette manufacturers are using the same slick tactics long used to market regular cigarettes to kids.

Continue reading 7 Ways E-Cigarette Companies Are Copying Big Tobacco’s Playbook

posted October 02, 2013

State AGs, Members of Congress Demand Regulation of E-Cigarettes

Growing concern about marketing that tempts kids

Editor
Sep 27, 2013

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A growing chorus of elected officials at the state and federal level — 40 state attorneys general and a group of 10 U.S. senators and two U.S. House members — are demanding strong action to stop the marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes to kids.

The attorneys general wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Tuesday, urging the FDA to swiftly regulate the e-cigarette industry and warning that e-cigarette manufacturers are tempting kids with sweet flavors, cartoon images and television advertising portraying e-cigarette use as attractive — in much the same way cigarette companies targeted children for decades.

Continue reading State AGs, Members of Congress Demand Regulation of E-Cigarettes

posted September 27, 2013

Boy Band on the Cover, Cigarette Ads Inside – Guess Who’s the Target?

Big Tobacco is still after kids

Editor
Aug 13, 2013

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Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds claims it doesn’t market cigarettes to kids.  But the company’s actions continue to show otherwise.

The August 2013 issue of Glamour magazine features the world’s most popular boy band, One Direction, on the cover.  Inside the magazine, and placed just before the story and photos on the band, there’s a huge, three-page spread of ads for R.J. Reynolds’ Camel cigarettes.

Continue reading Boy Band on the Cover, Cigarette Ads Inside – Guess Who’s the Target?

posted August 13, 2013

Wish Camel cigarettes an unhappy 100th birthday

A century of death and disease is nothing to celebrate

Editor
Jun 18, 2013

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The death and disease caused by cigarettes is nothing to celebrate.  But that’s not stopping R.J. Reynolds from celebrating the 100th birthday of its Camel cigarettes this year. Their Camel web site touts “A Century of Camel” and urges visitors to “Celebrate the original that sparked a tradition.”

Continue reading Wish Camel cigarettes an unhappy 100th birthday

posted June 18, 2013

Really Philip Morris? You don’t market to kids?

Company’s actions contradict CEO’s claim

Editor
May 14, 2013

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At last week’s annual meeting of Philip Morris International shareholders in New York City, CEO Louis Camilleri answered a question from a youth tobacco control advocate by denying that the company markets to kids, saying “That’s just not true. It’s a fable.”

Continue reading Really Philip Morris? You don’t market to kids?

posted May 14, 2013

Warning: This Concert Is Hazardous to Your Health

Indonesia’s Java Jazz promotes cigarettes as much as music

Editor
Mar 22, 2013

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When young fans attended the Java Jazz music festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, earlier this month, they had to walk through concert grounds plastered with advertising for Djarum Super Mild, the cigarette brand that sponsored the concert.

When performers such as Joss Stone took the stage, they performed under a cigarette logo.

And for weeks before the concert, Djarum promoted its deadly products using the images of music stars, in the process telling kids that smoking is fun and glamorous.

Continue reading Warning: This Concert Is Hazardous to Your Health

posted March 22, 2013

Today is Kick Butts Day!

Learn about America’s most wanted tobacco villains

Editor
Mar 20, 2013

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Today is the 18th Kick Butts Day, our annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco.

With more than 1,200 events happening across the country and on military bases around the world, this is the biggest Kick Butts Day yet. Today and throughout the week, thousands of kids are taking a stand against tobacco. Find Kick Butts Day events in your area.

Continue reading Today is Kick Butts Day!

posted March 20, 2013

Cigarettes and Slush Puppies

Store marketing tells kids cigarettes are normal and appealing

Editor
Oct 19, 2012

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Earlier this year, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and our partners issued a report showing how tobacco companies have enlisted convenience stores as their most important partners in marketing cigarettes and other tobacco products – and in fighting policies to reduce tobacco use.

Continue reading Cigarettes and Slush Puppies

posted October 19, 2012

Back to School and Tobacco-Free

Protecting kids from the tobacco industry’s products and marketing

Editor
Sep 6, 2012

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The backpacks have been aired out, the supplies purchased, pencils sharpened, and the kids are now back to school.  With young people being away from home and parental supervision, however, moms and dads need to be vigilant. 

Continue reading Back to School and Tobacco-Free

posted September 06, 2012

NY Times Editorial: Close Loopholes in Tobacco Regulation

Tobacco companies manipulate products to attract kids

Editor
Sep 4, 2012

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An editorial in The New York Times calls on elected officials and the Food and Drug Administration to close tax and regulatory loopholes that tobacco companies have exploited to keep some products cheap, flavored and appealing to kids.

"Give the tobacco industry credit for ingenuity," the Times wrote. "Just when it looked as if federal regulators could block their ability to addict children and young adults, several companies that make cigars and pipe tobacco have sidestepped the barriers by taking advantage of loopholes in federal law."

Continue reading NY Times Editorial: Close Loopholes in Tobacco Regulation

posted September 04, 2012

ABC’s Nightline Investigates Philip Morris International’s Marketing to Indonesian Youth

Video: Tobacco giant questioned on Marlboro-branded kiosk steps from school

Editor
Jul 11, 2012

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In a new segment, ABC News Nightline returns to Indonesia, a playground for the tobacco industry where tobacco marketing is inescapable and kids can easily buy cigarettes right outside their schools.

Continue reading ABC’s Nightline Investigates Philip Morris International’s Marketing to Indonesian Youth

posted July 11, 2012

Surgeon General’s Report Shows Youth Smoking is “Not an Accident”

Tobacco industry spends over a million dollars an hour on marketing that hooks kids

Editor
Mar 8, 2012

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Smoking among American youth is a “pediatric epidemic” that isn’t occurring by accident:  It’s directly caused by tobacco industry marketing and promotion that entices teenagers to start smoking and encourages their progression to becoming regular smokers.

Continue reading Surgeon General’s Report Shows Youth Smoking is “Not an Accident”

posted March 08, 2012

‘Hoodwraps’ Don’t Belong in the Neighborhood

Flavored cigars, free samples and hip-hop imagery target urban youth

Editor
Oct 21, 2011

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A California-based company is promoting flavored cigars called "Hoodwraps" to inner-city youth, using names such as "Da Bomb Blueberry" and "Swag Berry," and even handing out free samples in downtown Indianapolis.

Trendsettah USA is marketing the cigars with "street teams" — inner-city youth recruited to give out the samples. The slogan for Hoodwraps: "So Hood. So Good." The aggressive promotion has angered local tobacco-control advocates, who note that urban youth in Indiana are more likely to begin smoking at an earlier age than the national average.

Continue reading ‘Hoodwraps’ Don’t Belong in the Neighborhood

posted October 21, 2011

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About This Blog

We blog news and information about the global movement to reduce tobacco use and its devastating toll.

We expose the tobacco industry's deceitful practices and chronicle the work of advocates in the United States and around the globe who are battling the world’s leading cause of preventable death.

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