There’s one thing that’s not really on the internet

And that thing is cigarette advertising.  I heard on Fair Game with Faith Salie that Philip Morris was developing a faster-burning cigarette called ‘Marlboro Extreme’.  I thought that the idea of a fast-burning cigarette was so Harried Leisure Class that I had to blog about it.  I sniffed around Google for these Marlboro Extremes and found nothing but YouTube videos of stupid cigarette tricks.  So I checked out Philip Morris’s website and discovered an amazing paucity of cowboys, jazz-enthusiast camels and laughing women sitting in groups of three at outdoor cafes by the water.  It’s all about corporate responsibility and boring protestoomuchy stuff like that.  I even googled Marlboro, only to find that the brand had no website at all, suggesting to me that cigarettes really do sell themselves.

I wonder why that would be, though?  Do cigarettes and computers not mix?  Is there a negative correlation between internet use and cigarette smokership (probably).  What must it be like to sell a product that you have to be scrupulously careful only to market in gas stations and working-class bars?  What other products don’t advertise on the internet?

Update (2/23) A google search of the word ‘Marlboro’ (only on Google Mobile, for some reason) now turns up a story about the Turkish trial run of a new product called Marlboro Intense, which is clearly the Marlboro Extreme that was referred to on Fair Game.  It’s a shorter cigarette with the same amount of nicotine as a regular cigarette.

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~ by Joshing on February 22, 2008.

2 Responses to “There’s one thing that’s not really on the internet”

  1. Now that you mention it, it is really odd that there is so little internet advertising of cigarettes. You get the impression that the internet is the wild west where everything goes. You would think I would get some cigarette spam with all the boner pill advertising I receive. Then again, maybe they are banned from doing a lot of it in the same way they cannot advertise on TV or billboards.

  2. Joe, I hate to correct you (as an increasingly regular reader of your blog), but on this point you are simply “wrong.”

    Camel has an extensive advertising campaign utilizing the Internet. Google “camel” and you may be pleasantly (!?) surprised by the following result: http://www.smokerswelcome.com/ (“cameltoes” notwistanding…)

    I somehow got on their printed mailing list sometime, and found that this particular website was rather heavily advertised in all sorts of advertising they “hand out,” (and otherwise distribute). In fact, I think the website might be referenced on “each and every” pack of cigs they distribute (again, unsure??).

    Finally, I’m sure you know Marlboro of course also has their own “anti-advertisement”/advertisement website(s), utilizing a kind of government-enforced reverse psychology perhaps… which are usually advertised as http://www.philipmorrisusa.com – a guide to help smokers, ahem (cough, cough), stop (or at least learn about) smoking. Inevitably it references Marlboro brands — but not yet the new “Extreme” variety.

    Enjoy your blog. Keep it up!

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