A recent study shows that advertising for Camel No. which was introduced in 2007 appealed to…teenage girls. Can’t imagine why.
These advertisers think they’re being sneaky…but we’re not buying it, are we??? I mean, who did they think they were kidding when they came out with a pink cigarette box using girly fonts and flowers to advertise dangerous, addictive cigarettes? Or…perhaps it was the promotional DEAD give-aways including flavored lip balm, cellphone jewelry, purses and wristbands.
The pink cigarette box is labeled “Light and luscious.”
And they still claim it was marketed towards adults. PLEASE! Come on! When was the last time an adult wore flavored lip balm and decorated their cell phone with jewelry? We are not all Paris Hilton.
Not to mention- The ads were in the fashion bibles- Cosmo, Vogue and Glamour.
The study, published in Pediatrics this month, shows that the ads were a big hit with the 1036 girls, ages 12- 16, involved in the research. It includes data from the fifth telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of teenagers. What was the major finding?
During the first four surveys, the number of girls who could identify a favorite tobacco ad remained about the same. But, during the last survey, which was conducted after the start of the Camel No. 9 campaign, the proportion of girls who had a favorite ad jumped by 10 percentage points, to 44 percent. The Camel brand was responsible for most of that increase, according to the study.
According to Cheryl Healton, president of the anti-smoking group called The American Legacy Foundation; In 2008, within a year of the ads’ debut, 22% of girls listed Camel as their favorite cigarette ad.
Being able to remember a tobacco ad shows that kids are taking an interest in cigarettes. Non-smoking teens who can name a favorite ad are 50% more likely to begin smoking than other kids, the study says. — John Pierce of the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California-San Diego.
The ads, thankfully, were pulled from print in 2008. I guess we can imagine why.
So are we done? Unfortunately, no. There are many other situations like these that market negative messages to our teens. We must continue to educate our teens about the merit of media literacy– teach them the tricks and coercive methods so that the teens can stay in charge of their own thinking instead of putting advertisers in the driver’s seat.