Tobacco Company Ordered To Stop Using Hip-Hop To Market Cigarettes
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. will dump a
marketing campaign that utilized Hip-Hop to promote their Kool Brand of cigarettes.
Critics claimed that the campaign was aimed at
luring black youth into smoking the cigarettes and that the campaign violated
a legal settlement the tobacco company reached with 46 states.
Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe, who is in
charge of enforcing the settlement, ordered Brown & Williamson to halt the
campaign, which bars tobacco companies from targeting teens using advertising
A recent letter to Rowe, a Brown & Williamson
attorney said the company will no longer package the cigarettes using rappers,
DJ's and dancers to sell the Kool brand.
Kool was promoting the brand using the "Kool
Mixx 2004," labeled by the company as the "largest and most prestigious
DJ competition anywhere." Kool Mixx ran for six years and was a coast-to-coast
This year was the first time they included an
"Kool understands the vibrant urban world
of the trendsetting, multicultural smoker," said Ludo Cremers, divisional
vice president, brand marketing in a press release after the competition was
announced. "Kool is the menthol authority. At the same time, Kool keeps
it real and remains linked to the latest urban trends. We'll showcase these
trends this year through Kool Mixx and other promotions and events."
The company also released special edition thematic
cigarette packs and an interactive CD-Rom.
Activists also want the remaining Kool special
promotional items that are still in stores pulled.