Camel Crush Cigarette Ads, Five leading public health organizations are calling on state attorneys general to investigate whether R.J. Reynolds' new magazine advertising campaign for Camel cigarettes violates the state tobacco settlement's prohibition on targeting youth.
The ads, for Camel Crush cigarettes, have appeared in the April, May or June issues of at least 24 magazines, including several with large teen readerships. This is the first time R.J. Reynolds has advertised a cigarette brand in magazines since December 2007, when the company suspended its magazine advertising while facing public and Congressional scrutiny and lawsuits by nine states for engaging in marketing that targeted kids.
The health groups are urging the state attorneys general to investigate whether the ad campaign violates a provision of the 1998 settlement that prohibits tobacco companies from taking "any action, directly or indirectly, to target Youth within any Settling State in the advertising, promotion or marketing of Tobacco Products."
"We believe that R.J. Reynolds' new ad campaign does directly or indirectly target youth because the entire ad buy is reaching millions of youth and several of the individual magazines have large youth readerships," the health groups stated in a letter to the Tobacco Committee Co-Chairs of the National Association of Attorneys General.
The groups involved are the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Legacy, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association and American Lung Association.
Publicly available data from GfK MRI, a consumer research firm, shows a total teen readership (12-17 years old) of 12.9 million for just nine of the magazines involved – Entertainment Weekly, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, People, Glamour, InStyle, US Weekly and Vogue. The total teen readership for all 24 magazines would be millions more.
Several of these magazines individually have large teen readerships, including People with nearly 3.2 million teen readers, ESPN the Magazine with more than 2 million teen readers, and Sports Illustrated with more than 1.7 million teen readers. Read more