If I were the consumer marketing director of one the mentioned brands in the article, I would feel that the major purpose of my strategy inducing or making people to buy my product would be achieving no matter the warnings. If I can get potential consumers to start buying my product at very young age, I would probably be creating brand loyals for a future. Consumers that “already have a maximum awareness of, and a strongly favorable attitude toward our brand” (Rossiter, 1997 p 58) If I can get a child to recognize Joe Camel the same way he recognizes Mickey Mouse, I would already have make a long way towards my selling purpose.
However there is always a counterpart on every argument, looking from a social perspective and based on the facts that alcohol and cigarettes can affect seriously your health; it would not be safe that young people bye this type of products. But how can you do this? Tobacco and Alcohol companies have faced this kind of problem and there has been a lot of legal and social pressure against their strategies and advertising.
Are warnings enough to let know about the risks and dangers? “The warnings are ostensibly designed to make people aware of the adverse effects of smoking on health. However, information provision does not necessarily equate to information impact.” (Fox, 1998) Not always. On the test results that the article mentions we can see that even if this information is printed in the advertisement, it not always is adequate and fulfils its purpose of warning.
That is what in many countries if not all, there has been a major concern on the way this companies handle their advertising, and if it reaches young people what other ways or methods can be use to help and prevent early consumption of cigarettes and alcohol. However we can see that controversy is on, and we can sure analyse from different perspectives the way alcohol and cigarette companies should take care on their advertisement campaigns without loosing their objective of making profit.
As a marketing director of any alcohol and cigarette Company, it is important to understand the “4ps” as the basic responsible which are product, price, promotion and place. Furthermore, the promotion as one of those tools has 4 basic foundation or known as “promotions mix”. There is personal selling, advertisement, sales promotions and publicity or public relations. According to Rossiter and Percy, the ultimate purposes of advertising communications and promotions, and of all other business functions, is to maximize the revenue which is basically consisting of three avenues, increasing selling price, lowering cost and increasing sales volume (1996, pp.26-27).
It appears that those avenues are becoming the one of important responsible for marketing directors. Although it seems easily to understand that responsible, but in many times the marketing directors also faces the pressure from social environment. For example, A San Diego judge fined RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. $20 million Thursday after finding that the nation’s No. 2 cigarette maker was targeting teenagers by advertising Camels and other brands in magazines such as In Style, Spin and Hot Rod.
The successful story of Joe Camel as the cartoon character of spokesperson for the brand to stimulate interest in smoking among adolescent is retired. This success can be found on the campaign that has been tremendously among young people. As a result, Camel’s share of the teenage market grew from 5% to 13% between 1988 and 1992 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1994a, cited in Fox et all, 1998). However, it is very unlikely with what actually the marketing director have to do. The marketing managers, basically just find out the best way to sell the product that ultimately maximize the revenue and profit as well. It is criticize that the marketing director doesn’t have any responsible to the social environment. There has been many pressure and we can see that looking from a social perspective there still can be done many things to control that advertisement through media reaches young people.
The issues of adolescents’ addiction over cigarettes are still considered to be a vulnerable issue to coupe with. Over the past recent years numbers of adolescents addicted to smoking is has increased, whereas R.J. Reynolds claimed that the indication of the 14-18 years old group is an increasing segment of the smoking population (http://www.tobaccofreekids.org) is considered to be one of key determinants which indicates that teenagers are encourage to smoke by the effect caused by cigarettes advertisements on the media such as television, magazines. But regardless to the fact that cigarette advertisements on media may affect adolescents to consume cigarettes, tobacco companies should try to promote strategies of advertising which would decrease the number adolescents consuming cigarettes.
The perspective which is often built by marketing director, views the importance of understanding how a marketing director should necessary focus on the strategy related to advertising and promotions due to the responsibilities and tasks which are regarded as an important role of a marketing director in achieving goals and objectives which is set by the company. Rossiter and Percy stated in which the ultimate purpose of advertising communications and promotions is to maximize profit (1996, pp. 26). However, on other circumstances tobacco companies face many critics by the society, regarding their advertisement efforts to promote their products. In accordance, the recent data collected by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (cited in http://www.tobaccofreekids.org) currently tobacco companies spend over
US $ 9.57 billion to promote their products in which most of their marketing efforts directly reach kids. Based on the evidence, it is believed that tobacco advertising which directly viewed by adolescents often, can encourage them to try and consume cigarettes. To decrease the numbers of smoking youth, managers should try to find solutions of how an advertising of the product can still be done without promoting adolescents to smoke.
According to Bowker and Hamilton (cited in http://www.tobaccofreekids.org), there are few strategies which can be used by cigarette companies in order to advertise their product, and also can prevent the existence of smoking youth. By trying to eliminate the advertisement of tobacco and marketing which directly reach kids by permanently stop advertising in magazines with large shares of youth readership, stop placing externally visible ads near schools and playgrounds, stop brand-name sponsorships of auto racing, and never advertise and sell cigarettes on the internet.
By reducing youth access to tobacco products by requiring tobacco retailers to place tobacco products behind the counter and out of reach, so that kids have to ask to get them, supporting (rather than opposing) efforts to ban cigarette vending machine, and by agreeing never to market cigarettes in “kiddies pack” of less than 20. However, in the practice there is no significant evidence which contributes to the decreasing number of smoking adolescents. But nevertheless, tobacco companies should always try encouraging themselves to establish new strategies of advertisements which will directly effect kids to buy their products. As a marketing director it is important to try to advertise and maximize, but on other circumstances a marketing director should have a social sensitivity on issues which occur amongst the community.
Therefore, a marketing director should always try to promote its product, without trying to encourage youth to smoke, in which could be determine by increasing the warnings on the television without trying to advertise their products. Since the presenter of the product is one of a key element in the success campaign of an advertisement, tobacco companies should not try use the character in which could attract the kids as for “Joe Camel” for instance. For advertisement on the magazines, tobacco companies can advertise their products in special thematic magazines which are read by specific readers.
However, it is considered more difficult and more costly for tobacco companies to create new strategies without being recognized by specific aged audience and readers, but it is also their social responsibility to reduce the number of smoking adolescents. In compensation governments must also play an important role as for the tobacco companies, in trying to eliminate the numbers of smoking adolescents. The government must try to encourage television productions to reduce the number of tobacco products advertising, by establishing rules which enables tobacco companies to advertise and market their products in the prime time, but in compensation they could advertise their products beyond the prime time. These strategies could play a significant role and be effective in the future if it is done continuously, also commitment which is made by tobacco companies and government are important factor in the campaign to reduce the number of smoking adolescents.
We can see also that alcohol is also one the major problems that we find among teenagers despite the warnings and all efforts that have been made. Also mentioned in the article beer ads are strongly recognized by young people, and we have certainly work out that this companies are also looking to draw more people to buy their products, in this case alcohol. But as mentioned previously, there is always a counterpart and from a social perspective it is very questionable the way advertisement has been use, when, how and to where they have focused as their target.
As a marketing director of a major Beer Company, recent research has proven to me that voluntary cautionary statements do not work on underage youths therefore beer advertisement should not be shown in print ads and on television that may influence this age group. This is a large and probably financially damaging statement to make given the nature of the alcohol industry relying heavily on marketing as a tool in increasing even maintaining sales.
People under the age of 18 are not legally allowed to purchase alcohol, however even the most conservative individual must admit underage drinking of some form does occur. Not only is it a market for us (allow we do not encourage underage drinking) it does exist and account for a small percentage of our sales. Not only is a market for us but people under the age of 18 are our future customers and therefore it is important to develop a favourable brand image with these people.
Given the journal and research conducted has proven that cautionary statements are not effective in either gaining the viewers attention or having an impact on their thought process, it is only ethical to remove any advertising that may influence this market. It is an ethical and social responsibility of all alcohol and tobacco companies to put the community above profit. Underage drinking is a major problem in this country, “Underage drinkers easily obtain alcohol from their homes or get older friends to purchase it.” (Smart 1996), it leads to anti-social behaviour and health risks do not to those consuming the alcohol but those in the immediate vicinity. It also leads to drink driving which is a major social problem and our company is prepared to sacrifice profits to help the community in solving these problems.