Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Albuquerque Publication Assists Tobacco Industry Deception

Most cities in the U.S. have Alternative Publications. These tabloid-type newspapers are generally free to the public, widely distributed and published on a weekly basis. This special report documents the shocking reality how the tobacco industry and editors of an alternative publication in Albuquerque, New Mexico conspire to deceive and manipulate America's youth.
[Another example of the tobacco industry deception.]

We ask the Weekly Alibi to act responsibly regarding tobacco advertising and promotion. The Weekly Alibi is free and trendy. Many young people under age 18 read the weekly editions. There are numerous tobacco advertisements per issue. As more than 80% of current smokers became addicted to tobacco before they reached the legal age to smoke, we believe it is critical to separate adult from general public content (youth smoking statistics).

The Weekly Alibi boasts a large readership in the Albuquerque area. They report (April 15-21st, 1999) they print 45,000 copies; each copy is read by an estimated 2.67 individuals equaling an estimated 120,000 readers. There are 650 outlets for their publication city wide. Kids and teens read the Weekly Alibi. The Weekly Alibi "targets every Generation, from the Baby Busters to the Baby Boomers. Distributed throughout Alq, Rio Rancho, Corrales, East Mountain, Bernalillo, Placitas, Santa Fe and Los Lunas."

The Weekly Alibi is "available at restaurants, grocery stores, college campuses, select retailers and various downtown locations. Coverage includes politics, humor, film, opinion, music, art and the most comprehensive entertainment guide in Nuevo Mexico. Arriba!"

No Marketing to Kids
Philip Morris TV Advertisement

While the tobacco industry announces publicly they do not target youth under 18, they aggressively promote and market their products in publication that do target America's youth.

Philip Morris is currently spending millions of dollars on a public relations campaign. They tell America that "Things Are Changing." This current tobacco advertising and promotional strategy demonstrates things are not changing. The tobacco industry pretends to wear new clothes, but they still prey on America's youth.

Today, the tobacco industry admits smoking kills. On July 21, 2000, Philip Morris (PM) ran full-page advertisements in newspapers across the nation. In their communication, PM states, "There is overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and other serious diseases in smokers. Smokers are far more likely to develop serious diseases, like lung cancer, than non-smokers. There is no 'safe' cigarette."

Things are changing
Philip Morris TV Advertisement

PM commented directly about youth smoking, "We do not want children to smoke; youth smoking is a serious problem and we want to be part of the solution." Then stop your general public advertising! PM also addressed the issue of tobacco and nicotine addiction: "Cigarette smoking is addictive... It can be very difficult to quit smokng, but this should not deter smokers who want to quit from trying to do so."

During the landmark Florida smokers lawsuit, the Brown & Williamson representative had this message for the jury, "I sincerely apologize to you [to sick smokers] on behalf of myself and on behalf of the 7,200 workers at Brown & Williamson." This said, why does Philip Morris and the other tobacco companies continue their aggressive tactics to promote and market their products? Why do leading media publications support these efforts? uncovered a 1994 R.J. Reynolds tobacco company SECRET document describing the tobacco industry's strategy to use alternative publications to manipulate preferences and behavior of American youth. The report disclosed a new marketing approach that is referred to as Trend Influence Marketing (TIM). TIM abandons standard advertising campaigns and instead jumps directly into the arena of trying to "become the trend-maker." R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris utilize TIM to increase the popularity of Camel and Marlboro cigarettes respectively.

The TIM strategy acknowledges that "shoving products in the face of the consumer is no longer the successful way to infiltrate this market. Today's 'Generation X' consumer is most influenced by what he or she sees in the hands of friends, not by some stiff riding a horse in a magazine advertisement."

The key element of TIM is to conduct the 'aggressive advertising' covertly. "The minute someone blatantly pushes 'trendy,' it's not. Trend Influence Marketing is underground. For this program to be executed properly, we as a marketing company will appear almost invisible. Nothing that takes place can appear sales-oriented and everything we do will be perceived as cool. The objective is to have 'hipsters' feel as though smoking Camel is their idea, that they started the trend."

R.J. Reynolds stated further that to reach the hipsters we must "speak their language, dress their dress, and walk their walk." We will recruit "our field marketing staff from the 'inside.'" All TIM efforts will be reinforced by savvy, localized alternative media campaigns -- the Weekly Alibi is an example of a local alternative media publication.

The promoters of Camel cigarettes noted "there are many local, national and international newspapers and magazines that hipsters read to follow the trends. These media vehicles are a critical part of the network to help the spread of trends... These free periodicals are distributed at most trendy nighclubs and are found in the stores and coffeehouses that the club crowd frequents... Aligning Camel with certain publications by way of advertising lends immediate hip credibility to the brand."

The Role of the Weekly Alibi
Willfully or not, the Alibi is a partner to this public deception. The title of the original R.J. Reynolds' strategy is the "Camel Club." KBA Lifestyle Marketing developed the program. On p.3 of the CONFIDENTIAL 1994 document, KBA states, "We will be recruiting our field marketing staff from the 'inside:' people who have worked in and around the nightclub/bar business and trendy community." In the May 6-12th and 13-19th, 1999 editions of the Alibi, KBA Lifestyle Marketing posted this employment ad.

Camel Club Exposed
To the right is a scanned image of p. 53 from Weekly Alibi August 26th through September 1, 1999.

The page is titled,
Camel Page
(Your Guide to Urban Nightlife)

Camel's logo is displayed a number of times. There is a smiling, happy woman in the lower left corner listed as "Some Gal." She is quoted saying, "Let's be happy and feel the joy at Ned's."

Following the TIM strategy, the page highlights some of Albuquerque's perceived trendy spots. This includes Gecko's, Brewster's Pub and The Martini Grille. The page also features a number of Neighborhood Bars, various Live Music Venues and top Dance Clubs.

If you read the uncovered R.J. Reynolds' CONFIDENTIAL document, you see how transparent the TIM strategy is.

This document was a trial exhibit in the Mangini case (Mangini v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Civil Case No. 939359). The legal world is fully aware of the manipulations of the tobacco companies. Few of us are aware of these activities in our community. Is this strategy effective? Sales of Camel cigarettes skyrocketed through the mid-90s. Furthermore, Marlboro now has a similar strategy...

  Camel Club image
Weekly Alibi: August 26-September 1,1999
-- click on image to enlarge --

Philip Morris Adds to Deception
In the August 12-18th Alibi is an example of Marlboro's version of the TIM strategy
(see image at right).

The page is clearly a Marlboro spot

Following the TIM template, the advertisement highlights many of Albuquerque's trendy spots. These include Boot Scoots Nite Club, Howie's Sports Page, Sneakerz, Two Minute Warning, Sunset Bar & Grill and Metropolis.

  Marlboro Club image
Weekly Alibi: August 12-18th,1999
-- click on image to enlarge --

These are not the only examples of the TIM strategy in the Alibi. Between May 6, 1999 through October 17, 2001, we found over 205 TIM features (generally full-page color spots). We did not count the smaller promotions. There are frequently 3-4 of the quarter page club or bar co-sponsored spots per edition. The publication dates are:

  Edition Product Product Comments and Notes
  Oct11-Oct17 Camel p.43    
  Sept20-Sept26 Camel p.28    
  Sept13-Sept19 Camel p.31    
  Sept6-Sept12 Camel p.24 Marlboro p.19  
  Aug30-Sept5 Camel p.33    
  Aug23-Aug29 Camel p.44    
  Aug16-Aug22 Camel p.56    
  Aug9-Aug15 Camel p.41 Marlboro p.33  
  Aug2-Aug8 Camel p.41    
  July26-Aug1 Camel p.37    
  July19-July25 Camel p.28-29 Marlboro p.19  
  July12-July18 Camel p.41   CAMEL & Jokers p.39
  July5-July11 Camel p.27 Marlboro p.21  
  June28-July4 Camel p.49    
  June21-June27 Camel p.37    
  June14-June20 Camel p.41    
  June7-June13 Camel p.35 Marlboro p.29  
  May31-June6 Camel p.41    
  May24-May30 Camel p.45    
  May17-May23 Camel p.47   Cigarette Outlet p.28
  May10-May16 Camel p.44 Marlboro p.49  
  May3-May9 Camel p.32   Dirt Cheap Cigs p.11
  Apr26-May2 Camel p.49   Dirt Cheap Cigs p.11
  Apr19-Apr25 Camel p.49 Marlboro p.43 Dirt Cheap Cigs p.11
  Apr12-Apr18 Camel p.35* Socyer "Ouch" p.40 *7 Pleasures of the Casbah
  Apr5-Apr11 Camel p.108* Marlboro p. 101 *7 Pleasures of the Casbah
  Mar29-Apr4 Camel p.35   Dirt Cheap Cigs p.17
  Mar22-Mar28 Camel p.41   Dirt Cheap Cigs p.9
  Mar15-Mar21 Camel p.38    
  Mar8-Mar14 Camel p.28 Marlboro p.25 Dirt Cheap Cigs p.9
  Mar1-Mar7 Camel p.37    
  Feb22-Feb28 Camel p.38    
  Feb15-Feb21 Camel p.38    
  Feb8-Feb14 Camel p.41   Dirt Cheap Cigs p.11
  Feb1-Feb7 Camel p.38    
  Jan25-Jan31 Camel p.38    
  Jan18-Jan24 Camel p.36   Dirt Cheap Cigs p.15
  Jan4-Jan10     Dirt Cheap Cigs p.9
  Dec28-Jan3   Marlboro p.28 Dirt Cheap Cigs p.9,19
  Dec21-Dec27 Camel p.53 Marlboro p.21 Dirt Cheap Cigs p.9
  Dec14-Dec20 Camel p.48 Marlboro p.40 Dirt Cheap Cigs p.21
  Dec7-Dec13 Camel p.41 Marlboro p.34-35* Two-page "holiday" special
  Nov30-Dec6 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.31 Dirt Cheap Cigarettes p.9
  Nov23-Nov29 Camel p.40   Dirt Cheap Cigarettes p.15
  Nov16-Nov22 Camel p.46 Marlboro p.35,41* *Win Trip to the Marlboro Ranch
  Nov9-Nov15 Camel p.41 Marlboro p.35 Lobo Campus Pharmacy p.24
  Nov2-Nov8 Camel p.52 Marlboro p.40*,45 *Win Trip to the Marlboro Ranch
  Oct26-Nov1 Camel p.40    
  Oct19-Oct25 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.35*,46 *Win Trip to the Marlboro Ranch
  Oct12-Oct18 Camel p.49 Marlboro p.25,48* *Win Trip to the Marlboro Ranch
  Oct5-Oct11 Camel p.54,55 Marlboro p.43*,49 *You Get a Lot to Like
  Sep28-Oct4 Camel p.46 Marlboro p.11*,41 *Full Flavor Kings
  Sep21-Sep27 Camel p.49,50 Marlboro p.21,37,43* *TONIC with Special Guest STIR
  Sep14-Sep20 Camel p.35 Marlboro p.27* *TONIC with Special Guest STIR
  Sep7-Sep13 Camel p.49 Marlboro p.37,43* *TONIC with Special Guest STIR
  Aug31-Sep6 Camel p.40* Marlboro p.33 *Turkish Gold, dirtcheapcigs p.11
  Aug24-Aug30 Camel p.22*,25,28** Marlboro p.19 *DJ Oona, **DJ Leo
  Aug17-Aug23 Camel p.70,74*,78 Marlboro p.63,79 *SuperJane -- Weekly Alibi Sponsored
  Aug10-Aug16 Camel p.36,40** Marlboro p.18*,31,45 *Racing School,**SuperJane
  Aug3-Aug9 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.35* *A Night of Live Music
  Jul27-Aug2 Camel p.40* Marlboro p.33 *Pleasure to Burn
  Jul20-Jul26 Camel p.53*   *Turkish Gold
  Jul13-Jul19 Camel p.45* Marlboro p.37 *Turkish Gold
  Jul6-Jul12 Camel p.41*   *Turkish Gold
  Jun29-Jul5 Camel p.52* Marlboro p.49 *Turkish Gold, cheapcigs p.34
  Jun22-Jun28 Camel p.38*   *Turkish Gold
  Jun15-Jun21 Camel p.52* Marlboro p.40,p.45** *Turkish Gold,**Marlboro Ranch
  Jun8-Jun14 NA* NA* *unavailable
  Jun1-Jun7 Camel p.52 Marlboro 31*,40**,45 *new menthols,**Marlboro Ranch
  May25-May31 Camel p.30,33 Marlboro 25*,35** *new menthols,**Marlboro Ranch
  May18-May24 Camel p.49 Marlboro p.45*, 55 *new menthol product
  May11-May17 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.33* *new menthol product
  May4-May10 Camel p.55 Marlboro p.48*, 63 *new menthol product
  Apr27-May3 Camel p.40*   *exotic blends, pleasure to burn
  Apr20-Apr26 Camel p.44,46*   *exotic blends, pleasure to burn
  Apr13-Apr19 Camel p.35*   *exotic blends, pleasure to burn
  Apr6-Apr12 Camel p.85* Marlboro p.80 *exotic blends, pleasure to burn
  Mar30-Apr5 Camel p.38* Marlboro p.32-33 *exotic blends, pleasure to burn
  Mar23-Mar29 Camel p.35*   *exotic blends, pleasure to burn
  Mar16-Mar22 Camel p.38    
  Mar9-Mar15 Camel p.58*   *limited supply: exotic pleasure p.63
  Mar2-Mar8 Camel p.38    
  Feb24-Mar1 Camel p.38    
  Feb17-23 Camel p.46 Marlboro p.41  
  Feb10-16 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.35* *new Marlboro feature, Cowboy's Place
  Feb3-Feb9 Camel p.40*   *more exotic pleasure p.46
  Jan27-Feb2 Camel p.41    
  Jan20-Jan26 Camel p.40    
  Jan13-Jan19 Camel p.44-45*   New Product Promotion -- Exotic line
  Jan6-Jan12     Yeah! Absolutely no tobacco ads...
  Dec30-Jan5 Camel p.46    
  Dec23-29 Camel p.40    
  Dec16-22 Camel p.63 Marlboro p.51* *additional two page Seasonal Promo
  Dec9-15 Camel p.40    
  Dec2-8 Camel p.46* Marlboro p.40 *full page color NY's Eve Promo
  Nov25-Dec1 Camel p.48    
  Nov18-Nov24 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.33  
  Nov11-Nov17 Camel p.40   New item: Marlboro Racing School Promotion
  Nov4-Nov10 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.46 Marlboro Ranch Promotion
  Oct28-Nov3 Camel p.40    
  Oct21-Oct27 Camel p.46 Marlboro p.41 Marlboro Ranch Promotion
  Oct14-Oct20 Camel p.45    
  Oct7-Oct13 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.45 New item: Marlboro Ranch Promotion
  Sep30-Oct6 Camel p.46    
  Sep23-Sep29 Camel p.45    
  Sep16-Sep22 Camel p.36    
  Sep9-Sep15 Camel p.45 Marlboro p.40  
  Sep2-Sep8 Camel p.41    
  Aug26-Sep1 Camel p.53 Marlboro p.61  
  Aug19-Aug25 Camel p.61    
  Aug12-Aug18 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.48  
  Aug5-Aug11 Camel p.36    
  Jul29-Aug4 Camel p.40 Marlboro p.33  
  Jul22-Jul28 Camel p.36    
  Jul15-Jul21 Camel p.56 Marlboro p.49  
  Jul8-Jul14 Camel p.41    
  Jul1-Jul7 Camel p.35 Marlboro p.41  
  Jun24-Jun30 Camel p.45    
  Jun17-Jun23 NA NA  
  Jun10-Jun16 no TIM no TIM  
  Jun3-Jun9   Marlboro p.31  
  May27-Jun2 no TIM no TIM  
  May20-May26   Marlboro p.37  
  May13-May19 no TIM no TIM KBA Recruitment Ad p.61
  May6-May12   Marlboro p.37 KBA Recruitment Ad p.56

It is time for the Weekly Alibi to cease and desist aiding this tobacco industry conspiracy. We ask that they take one of two actions: distribute their publication solely to individuals at least 18 years of age through adult only locations; or drop the tobacco advertising.

The Weekly Alibi is not alone in this public deception. Click here for a listing of participating restaurants, bars and night clubs.


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