Tobacco Industry Promotional Spending Hit Record $9.57B in 2000
The tobacco industry spent a record $9.57 billion on advertising and promotions in 2000, despite restrictions placed on cigarette manufacturers in the 1998 national tobacco settlement, according to an annual Federal Trade Commission report released last Friday (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/25). The six largest tobacco companies -- which agreed to restrictions on outdoor advertising, free sample distribution and brand-name sponsorships in the 1998 settlement -- spent $9.57 billion on promotions in 2000, a 16% increase from 1999, the report found. In the "single biggest increase" in 2000, the companies spent $3.52 billion on "value-added promotions," such as "buy one, get one free," a 37.4% increase from 1999. The companies also spent $3.91 billion on retail promotional allowances, including payments to retailers to install displays and signs and provide shelf space, a 10.5% increase from 1999, the report found. In addition, the report found that the companies increased spending on newspaper advertisements from $51 million in 1999 to $51.7 million in 2000; spending on magazine ads decreased 22% to $294.9 million. U.S. cigarette consumption rose to 413.5 billion cigarettes in 2000 -- a 0.5% increase from 1999 -- although per capita sales dropped by about 9%, the report found. The Los Angeles Times reports that U.S. cigarette sales have decreased in "nearly each of the last 20 years, but the promotional blitz" in 2000 may have "interrupted the decline at least temporarily" (Levin, Los Angeles Times, 5/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.