Friday, November 12, 2010

Camel's Shameful Campaign

R.J. Reynolds is at it again. The company has launched a new campaign using "cool" and "hip" cities all over the country to market their addictive and poisonous product. Special edition packs of cigarettes will feature these cities with related artwork and slogans to make their products seem rebellious, hip and filled with a sense of freedom - all characteristics that attract youth attention. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and others are calling RJR to stop this campaign and asking state attorneys general to look into whether this move violates the 1998 state tobacco settlement's prohibition of marketing cigarettes to youth. As part of this campaign, RJR has launched an online component called the "Break Free Adventure," where you can win prizes by correctly guessing where in the country Camel is making a stop. You can see this campaign by clicking here.

Some of the cities and slogans featured on these packs will be:

Williamsburg-Brooklyn, New York - "Some call it the most famous hipster neighborhood. But it's not about  hip. It's about breaking free. It's about last call, a sloppy kiss goodbye and a solo saunter to a rock show in an abandoned building."
Austin, Texas "Name a live show that rocked history - we'll put money that Camel was there. So Camel two-steps its way to Texas for a Lone Star taste of that independent spirit and all-access pass to the 'live music capital of the world.'"
Seattle, Washington "Home of grunge, a coffee revolution and alternatives who'll probably tell you they're only happy when it rains."
San Francisco, California - "The Summer of Love, protests to be civil and a rainbow of counterculture. Whether you started here or put flowers in your hair, grabbed a drum and hitched a ride on a painted minibus, Camel lights up this little piece of San Francisco that pulses with the spirit to evolve, revolve or revolt and follows the force to break free."
and more.

The campaign is causing a stir with city officials in the locations Camel plans on featuring and is becoming a topic in newspapers and blogs.

Click here to read the article "Camel Smokes Out Brooklyn Locale" in the Wall Street Journal

Click here to read the article "Joe Camel - a hipster? R.J. Reynolds markets its smokes to Williamsburg" in The Brooklyn Paper

To learn more, read Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' press release here.

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