The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4313.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 9:42 PM

Abstract #43325

Direct mail marketing of tobacco after the Master Settlement Agreement

Tess Cruz, PhD, MPH1, Darleen V. Schuster, MA, MPH2, and Jennifer B. Unger, PhD2. (1) Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1000 South Fremont Ave, Unit 8, Room 4209, Alhambra, CA 91803, 626-457-6647,, (2) School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1000 South Fremont, Unit 8, Los Angeles, CA 91803

With the elimination of billboard advertising by the Master Settlement Agreement, direct mail has enjoyed an expanded and relatively unrestricted role in tobacco marketing campaigns. Direct mail tobacco promotions were examined using 121 direct mail flyers and gifts, and 13 direct mail magazines collected in California during 1999 and 2000. Materials were coded for type of appeal, brand, age restrictions, and special offers. Comparisons are made with direct mail materials reviewed prior to the Master Settlement Agreement and with data on tobacco promotional campaigns observed by this project in general audience magazines, weekly entertainment newspapers, tobacco-sponsored events and bar-nights. In 1999 and 2000, more cooperative advertising arrangements are present with store chains, compared to previous years. Cartoon characters are no longer used, but there are few other efforts to restrict the appeal for minors. 85% of the materials specify an age restriction of 21 years or 18 years of age, but of those, only half requested age verifications. 82% of the materials fostered ways for consumers to maintain and develop brand loyalty, with incentives to respond actively with coupon redemptions, sweepstakes entries and opinion polls. Materials aimed directly at individual smokers represent a form of narrowcasting that can more effectively promote pro-tobacco messages to at-risk audiences and actively involve them as consumers. This information on direct mail strategies is necessary to develop counter-advertising policies and messages that will interrupt the relationship between tobacco corporations and existing smokers.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session the participant will be able to

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

New Images and Activities of the Tobacco Industry

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA