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Every document and picture tells a story: using internal corporate document reviews, semiotics, and content analysis to assess tobacco advertising


In this article we present communication theory as a conceptual framework for conducting documents research on tobacco advertising strategies, and we discuss two methods for analysing advertisements: semiotics and content analysis. We provide concrete examples of how we have used tobacco industry documents archives and tobacco advertisement collections iteratively in our research to yield a synergistic analysis of these two complementary data sources. Tobacco promotion researchers should consider adopting these theoretical and methodological approaches.

  • B&H, Benson & Hedges
  • B&W, Brown Williamson
  • ITL, Imperial Tobacco Limited
  • LTDL, Legacy Tobacco Documents Library
  • PM, Philip Morris
  • UCSF, University of California, San Francisco
  • corporate documents
  • tobacco
  • advertising
  • research methods
  • communication

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