OBJECTIVE To examine the presence of features of sales promotion in cigarette advertising in United States magazines, and to describe trends in youth (ages 12–17) exposure to such advertising (termed “promotional advertising”).
DESIGN Analysis of 1980–1993 annual data on: (a) total pages and expenditures for “promotional advertising” (advertising that contains features of sales promotion) in 36 popular magazines (all magazines for which data were available), by cigarette brand; and (b) readership characteristics for each magazine. We defined promotional advertising as advertisements that go beyond the simple advertising of the product and its features to include one or more features of sales promotion, such as coupons, “retail value added” promotions, contests, sweepstakes, catalogues, specialty item distribution, and sponsorship of public entertainment or sporting events.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Total pages of, and expenditures for promotional advertising in magazines; and gross impressions (number of readers multiplied by the number of pages of promotional advertising) among youth and total readership.
RESULTS During the period 1980–1993, tobacco companies spent $90.2 million on promotional advertising in the 36 magazines. The proportion of promotional advertising appearing in “youth” magazines (defined as magazines with a greater than average proportion of youth readers) increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 100% in 1987. Although youth readers represented only 19% of magazine readers, the proportion of youth gross impressions to total gross impressions of tobacco promotional advertising exceeded this value throughout the entire period 1985–1993, peaking at 33% in 1987. The five “youth” cigarette brands (defined as brands smoked by at least 2.5% of smokers aged 10–15 years in 1993) accounted for 59% of promotional advertising in all magazines, but for 83% of promotional advertising in youth magazines during the study period.
CONCLUSIONS In their magazine advertising, cigarette companies are preferentially exposing young people to advertisements that contain sales promotional features.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
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