Cigarette launch ‘targets young women’ with super-slim packs

by Jenny Novac on November 30, 2012

Cigarette firms have been charged of applying ‘increasingly cynical’ marketing methods to target young women.

In the current try to appeal to smokers, Silk Cut was launching a variety of Scarlett Johansson Smoking

Scarlett Johansson smoking in The Black Dahlia

The step was followed by similar campaigns in the U.S. where women are targeted with female-friendly packaging, often having pink colours and floral vision.

Big cigarette companies in America have been accused of purportedly wooing women via films.

In 2006, the actress Scarlett Johansson was critisized for advertising smoking with her role in The Black Dahlia.

Action on Smoking and Health said Silk Cut’s use of the term ‘super-slim’ was a try to associate cigarettes and weight loss in the minds of teenage girls desperate to stay slim.

Martin Dockerell, of ASH, said slim cigarettes had been advertised effectively in America for a long time and it’s a comparatively new development in the UK.

‘In America there has been a long tradition of products promoted to women, especially young girls, with packages that are in some way more female-friendly.

‘In the UK, the only legal cigarette advertising was on the packet, so tobacco companies are critical to attract new smokers through the packaging design.’

He added that a pack is particularly significant marketing tool and by modifying the pack can raise market share. Tobacco companies as well know that smokers are very susceptible to the packaging and the brand identity.’

Silk Cut’s Super-slim purple cigarettes are slimmer than traditional ones and are available in a more compact box.

Gallaher, the maker of Silk Cut, describes its new brand as ‘elegance and quality’ addition to the super-slim cigarette segment.

A spokesperson for the company rejected that cigarettes were targeting young women.

‘It is unlawful to sell cigarettes to those under 18 and the company knows ethics,’ he said. ‘This is simply the entry of Silk Cut into the super slim market and this is a standard cigarette pack – it’s a square pack that is slimmer as the cigarettes are slimmer.’

Scientific studies have demonstrated that young women who are troubled about their weight are more probably to start smoking. Girls at the age of 15 are more probable to smoke than boys at this age.

In Hollywood’s golden age, cigarette firms paid stars such as Clark Gable and Bette Davis to promote their products.

In the U.S., the famous brand Virginia Slims has a brand called Super Slims and is about to launch a smooth pink ‘purse pack’ targeted at women.


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