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CAMEL ADS ARE EFFECTIVE WITH KIDS ACCORDING TO EXCLUSIVE AD AGE/BKG YOUTH POLL; BRAND RECOGNITION HIGHEST AMONG PRETEENS

CAMEL ADS ARE EFFECTIVE WITH KIDS ACCORDING TO EXCLUSIVE AD AGE/BKG
 YOUTH POLL; BRAND RECOGNITION HIGHEST AMONG PRETEENS
 NEW YORK, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of students suggests R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s controversial campaign for Camel cigarettes is highly effective at reaching young people, especially kids under 13.
 The survey was prepared and conducted exclusively for Advertising Age by BKG Youth, a research and marketing company. It is based on separate questionnaires to some 325 8-to-13-year-olds and 175 14-to-18- year olds at a representative sampling of schools across the country.
 The study comes as the Old Joe campaign for Camel has drawn criticism from the U.S. surgeon general and the American Medical Association; both have charged the cartoon campaign entices kids to smoke.
 Results showed that when asked to name familiar cigarette brands, 90 percent of the younger set named Camel; 73 percent cited Philip Morris USA's Marlboro, the top-selling brand.
 Among teenagers asked to recall cigarette brands, 83 percent listed Marlboro, 75 percent picked Camel. Marlboro was also the favorite brand among teenage smokers, according to the Ad Age/BKG Youth survey.
 Although the brand recognition wasn't specifically linked to Camel ads, the younger students were asked to circle items they've seen in cigarette ads, including cowboys, clowns, camels, cartoon characters, dogs, cats and dolphins.
 Camels were the top choice, picked by 94 percent, while 83 percent chose cowboys, common in Marlboro ads. Also, 33 percent named cartoon characters, 14 percent cited dogs, 10 percent chose dolphins and 9 percent named cats.
 Asked to explain why Camel and its Old Joe mascot were more prevalent in the minds of younger kids than older ones, Marian Salzman, president of BKG Youth said kids stop being influenced by cartoon symbols by 11. She said they also become "more skeptical consumers" by 10 or 11.
 Tobacco marketers have said repeatedly their ad efforts aren't aimed at any non-smokers and especially not at underage smokers, but rather at adult smokers who might be persuaded to switch brands. But critics have long complained that both imagery and prevalence of cigarette ads can't help but appeal to youngsters. The Journal of the American Medical Association in December published studies claiming cartoon ads lead kids to smoke.
 Spokeswomen at both RJR and Philip Morris said awareness doesn't translate into consumption.
 Asked about smoking, 6 percent of the high schoolers surveyed said they smoke regularly, and 11 percent said they smoke occasionally.
 Of the older group, 59 percent said they buy their own cigarettes. And 76 percent expressed a brand preference, namely Marlboro, Marlboro Lights, Philip Morris' Virginia Slims, "whatever is cheapest" (an apparent reference to generics) and Camel.
 About 4 percent of the younger group said they had tried cigarettes.
 Asked where they most often see cigarette advertising, 46 percent of the younger set named outdoor boards; 37 percent named magazines. But 33 percent of the group said they see cigarette ads on TV, even though tobacco advertising has been banned from that medium since 1971.
 "Kids watch so much TV that they assume everything (runs) there," Salzman said. "It's also possible younger children confused TV coverage of the Camel controversy with advertising for the brand," she said.
 Among the older (and presumably more widely read) group, 59 percent said they see cigarette ads most often in magazines, while 34 percent cited outdoor boards.
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: Meryl Suben of Advertising Age, 212-210-0716/ CO: Advertising Age ST: New York IN: ADV TOB SU:


KD-OS -- NY101 -- 3374 04/27/92 16:44 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1992
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