William Esty advertising company discusses R.J. Reynolds' share of the "youth market"

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According to this document taken from the R.J. Reynolds (RJR) document collection, 14 year old smokers were not just a viable, but a very sought after market for RJR in the 1970s. In this letter, the William Esty Advertisng company writes to J. O. Watson of RJR's Marketing department, saying "Many manufacturers have 'studied' the 14-20 market in hopes of uncovering the 'secret' of the instant popularity some brands enjoy to the almost complete exclusion of others (as shown above). Creating a 'fad' in this market can be a great bonanza." This document was selected by the state of Minnesota for their trial against the tobacco industry in 1997.

Key quotes

Dear Jack:

As you know, the October 1972 NFO provides demographic data on 14-20 year-old smokers ... A. General Comments (Exhibit I) 1. 13.1% of total respondents 14-20 were smokers; this compares to a national average of about 30% for all ages.
2. The progression of smoking incidence begins at 3.7% for 14-15 and moves up to 23.1% for 18-20... ...
5. The New England (20.5%) and Mid-Atlantic 916.3%) regions have the highest 14-20 smoker development. B. WINSTON-Marlboro Preference Share (Exhibit II)
1. The top 5 brands (Marlboro, Kool, WINSTON, SALEM and Tareyton) account for 78.7% of the total 14-20 market. The remaining 45 brands account for only 21.3% ...
2. While Marlboro's preference share is 38.5% verses WINSTON's 14.2% among 14-20 year old smokers, in another focus, Marlboro's share is about equal to the share of the next 4 leading brands.
C. Preference Share Trend by Age Segment (Exhibit III) ...
1. Marlboro's share among the 14-15 segment is a phenomenal 51.0% ... Discussion Many manufacturers have "studied" the 14-20 market in hopes of uncovering the "secret" of the instant popularity some brands enjoy to the almost complete exclusion of others (as shown above). Creating a "fad" in this market can be a great bonanza. To date, success, if it comes, has often been a function more of luck than of prior marketing perception ...


Title NFO Preference Share Data "Youth" Market
Author J.H. McCain, William Esty Advertising Co.
Date 19730308 (March 8, 1973)
Type Letter
Bates 501167049/7051
Collection RJ Reynolds
Pages 3
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/fyy49d00

<tdo>search_term="youth market"</tdo>