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Ethics of Target Marketing: Process, Product or Target?
Unformatted Document Text:  11 As a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between cigarette manufacturers and 46 states, millions of internal corporate documents were made public through litigation. Several researchers content analyzed these documents and found tremendous evidence of targeting strategies towards youth and minorities in bars and nightclubs (Cummings et al, 2002; Katz et al, 2002; Sepe et al, 2002 ;). Although the tobacco companies did not necessarily delineate between their advertising and public relations activities, for our current discussion, these tactics can be separately analyzed to demonstrate ethical subtleties between the two marketing strategies. However, it is important to note that the tactics were prepared as IMC of Strategic Communication campaigns and are truly powerful because they are combined as one marketing plan. Sepe et al (2002) found that in a 1983 marketing strategy RJ Reynolds employed a “field marketing,” approach, using person-to-person interaction at parties, concerts, and nightclubs to “reinforce Camel’s masculine psychological image within the context of programs which are lifestyle oriented” (p. 414). The company wanted to integrate smoking with nightlife, music, and sports. The researchers also found that several tobacco companies attempted to influence opinion-leaders. For example, Philip Morris designed a telephone survey that could differentiate leaders from nonleaders and RJ Reynolds attempted to reach “trendsetters” through make-your-own music videos in bars. All of the above communication strategies fall under public relations because they are not mass-mediated and attempt to build relationships. None of these marketing techniques identified the sponsor, and in the cases of influencing opinion leaders, cigarettes were not even mentioned. Therefore, the young adults targeted with these strategies most likely were unaware that the tobacco companies were attempting to gain

Authors: Fisher, Brooke A..
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11
As a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between cigarette
manufacturers and 46 states, millions of internal corporate documents were made public
through litigation. Several researchers content analyzed these documents and found
tremendous evidence of targeting strategies towards youth and minorities in bars and
nightclubs (Cummings et al, 2002; Katz et al, 2002; Sepe et al, 2002 ;). Although the
tobacco companies did not necessarily delineate between their advertising and public
relations activities, for our current discussion, these tactics can be separately analyzed to
demonstrate ethical subtleties between the two marketing strategies. However, it is
important to note that the tactics were prepared as IMC of Strategic Communication
campaigns and are truly powerful because they are combined as one marketing plan.
Sepe et al (2002) found that in a 1983 marketing strategy RJ Reynolds employed a
“field marketing,” approach, using person-to-person interaction at parties, concerts, and
nightclubs to “reinforce Camel’s masculine psychological image within the context of
programs which are lifestyle oriented” (p. 414). The company wanted to integrate
smoking with nightlife, music, and sports. The researchers also found that several
tobacco companies attempted to influence opinion-leaders. For example, Philip Morris
designed a telephone survey that could differentiate leaders from nonleaders and RJ
Reynolds attempted to reach “trendsetters” through make-your-own music videos in bars.
All of the above communication strategies fall under public relations because they
are not mass-mediated and attempt to build relationships. None of these marketing
techniques identified the sponsor, and in the cases of influencing opinion leaders,
cigarettes were not even mentioned. Therefore, the young adults targeted with these
strategies most likely were unaware that the tobacco companies were attempting to gain


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