When you ask a tobacco sales representative whether teens are their main advertising focus, they would say no. But when the majority of retail outdoor advertising occurs in tobacco convenience stores where around 75% of teens shop at least once a week, it's hard to believe. Major tobacco brands have been targeting teens since day one for three reasons. They are easily influenced by advertising. Tobacco companies establish brand loyalty with teens. Finally teens are the largest advertising market.
A teen being sensitive and influential by tobacco advertisements is their number one reason why these companies target this market. Because of the fact that teens are in the stages of trying new things and figuring out who they want to be makes them 3 times as influential to these ads. A study in the journal of the National Cancer Institute found that teens are more likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette advertising than they are by peer pressure. To some teens what the older generations are doing, like the ones in many advertisements, is more important than what their own peers do. Evidence that Tobacco companies are well aware of these statements is the fact their advertising budget in youth magazines has risen from $58.
5 million in 1998 to $67. 4 in 1999. They are obviously well aware that teens are influenced by advertising and are taking full advantage of it. Another reason tobacco companies targets teens is the fact they want them to establish a solid brand loyalty. Chances are the older generations have already chosen a brand that they have been using year after year and they aren't looking to change. Teens on the other hand are just starting to look at brands if they are looking to pick up smoking and these companies want to be their choice.
Also, mathematically teenagers who are addicted to or picking up smoking will be smoking longer than adults. To be able to establish the brand loyalty, tobacco companies are trying to influence America's youth as young as possible. They spend millions directly at teens with the knowledge they can gain brand loyalty. The third reason that tobacco companies advertise to teens is that they are the largest advertising market.
It is a proven that Teens look at advertisements more than adults. America's youth is trying to find out if smoking is really for them and the right brand to go along with it, which causes them to look at more advertisements. This is the very reason why in retailers you will see that only 22. 8% of ads are at high-levels (eye levels of adults) and 42. 9% of them are at low-height (eye levels of teens and children.
) Because teens are such a large market, tobacco companies continue targeting them so they can continue profiting in the billions. Even after the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998, which prohibits direct or indirect advertising targeted to people under the age of 18, tobacco companies have found alternative ways to advertise at their largest market. They continue reaching out to teens in order sustain a their desirable profits from their largest market. Tobacco companies are un morally targeting teens in order to socially gain for themselves. They do so because they know youth is easily influenced by cigarette ads, they are trying to establish brand loyalty, and teens are their largest undecided market. Even though they had made an agreement in the Master Settlement Agreement to stop advertising to teenagers, they continue doing so.
Cigarette companies spend an average of $167 million dollars to a single state in the US, think about how many teens are being effected each day by those ads. So the next time you talk to a sales representative for a tobacco company and he tells you their not focusing their advertising at teen, you can tell him not to lie the truths out.