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‘Action. Adventure. Special Offers.’: how Marlboro engages consumers on its website
  1. Vinu Ilakkuvan1,
  2. Jennifer Cantrell1,2,
  3. Donna Vallone1,2
  1. 1Department of Research and Evaluation, Legacy, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  2. 2Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Vinu Ilakkuvan, Department of Research and Evaluation, Legacy, 1724 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA; vilakkuvan{at}legacyforhealth.org

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The Marlboro website epitomises the industry's creative use of online platforms to engage consumers consistently over extended time periods. Most recently, the tagline for the Marlboro brand's website promises ‘Action. Adventure. Special Offers. Find it all at MARLBORO.COM.’1 As the tobacco industry faces expanded restrictions for marketing their products through more traditional media channels,24 companies have turned to the internet—which remains a space that is both less regulated and more difficult to regulate5—to engage consumers. As researchers have observed, viewers are likely to ‘spend far more time browsing and interacting with a pro-smoking website than viewing a static cigarette advertisement in a magazine.’6

Despite the gated nature of the Marlboro website, which requires visitors to register by indicating they are a Marlboro customer and by providing their full name, birthdate, an address that appears on their …

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