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New Ad Urges Philip Morris To Dump The Marlboro Man

Tobacco-Free Kids’ Print Advertising Campaign Responds to Tobacco Company’s Latest “Youth Anti-Smoking Program”
January 27, 1999

Washington, DC - A new advertising campaign that urges the Philip Morris tobacco company to stop using the Marlboro Man to market its cigarettes to kids was launched this week by the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS. The ads, which initially are running in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Hill, respond to the tobacco company’s latest campaign that tells kids not to smoke, and argue that if the company is committed to combating the epidemic of youth tobacco use, it would retire its famous cowboy. “This advertising effort by Philip Morris is the company’s latest attempt to appear serious about protecting kids,” said CAMPAIGN President Bill Novelli. “No one should be fooled, however, by this transparent illusion designed to provide the company with a veneer of social responsibility. Philip Morris can protect kids from tobacco by putting the Marlboro Man -- the most recognized tobacco industry icon -- out to pasture, thereby ending its marketing effort aimed at luring youngsters into the deadly habit of smoking.” The new print advertisement depicts the infamous industry icon, and its bold headline reads, “If Philip Morris really didn’t want kids to smoke…it would dump the Marlboro Man.” The ad goes on to point out that nearly 60 percent of all young smokers -- boys and girls -- smoke Marlboro. The ad copy concludes by challenging Philip Morris to “get rid of the Marlboro Man -- for good.” “The tobacco companies have tried in the past to legitimize themselves in response to political pressure and to avoid government regulations by announcing youth anti-smoking programs,” continued Novelli. “None has ever worked in the past and this time is no different.” “The tobacco companies have fought with tremendous resources over the past year to defeat all serious efforts to reduce youth tobacco use,” said Novelli. “The truest indication that they are not serious about ending smoking among kids is their failure to implement any of the marketing restrictions agreed to in the June 1997 settlement agreement with the state Attorneys General.”