Five health groups in the United States are now asking that state attorneys investigate a new advertising campaign for Camel Crush cigarettes.
The groups say that Reynolds American, the parent company for this particular brand of cigarettes, has published ads for Camel Crush cigarettes in magazines whose audience includes young people.
From where they stand, this marketing decision goes against regulations listed under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which clearly states that cigarette manufacturers are not allowed to advertise their products to kids and teens.
“We are writing to alert you to an extensive advertising campaign the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco launched for its Camel Crush cigarettes in the April, May and June issues of at least 24 magazines, including several with large teen readerships,” reads the letter sent by these health groups to state attorneys Marty Jackley of South Dakota and Chris Koster of Missouri.
“We believe that R.J. Reynold's new ad campaign does directly or indirectly target youth because the entire ad buy is reaching millions of youth and several of the individual magazines have large youth readerships,” the letter details.
Some of the magazines in which these ads were published are Entertainment Weekly, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, People, Glamour, InStyle, US Weekly and Vogue.
The health groups say that, according to a consumer research firm, these nine magazines alone have a teen readership of about 12.9 million.
“The total teen readership for all 24 magazines would be millions more,” the groups say.
Interestingly enough, it was back in 2007 when R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. decided that it would be best to quit advertising its products in print.
At that time, the company faced similar charges: using ads to target younger people and thus violating ongoing tobacco legislation in the United States.
Presently, tobacco companies selling their products in the United States are not allowed to advertise their cigarettes on the radio, on television or on billboards, USA Today says.