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Brand mismanagement: Rothmans cigarette marketing, 1957‐2000

Brand mismanagement: Rothmans cigarette marketing, 1957‐2000 Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess, by providing a case study of flagship brand, Rothmans, why Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), Canada's second largest tobacco firm, has historically lost ground to industry leader, Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited (ITL). Design/methodology/approach – The paper utilizes data from internal corporate documents, made public from litigation, as well as trade press and promotional materials accessed from advertising archives. More specifically, the tobacco industry documents reviewed were made public from two Canadian trials: the 1989 Canadian trial to decide the constitutionality of the Tobacco Products Control Act; and the 2002 Quebec Superior Court trial in which Canada's three major tobacco firms challenged the constitutionality of the Tobacco Act. Findings – The declining market share of Rothmans is largely explained by the brand's inability to appeal to the highly valued youth or “health concerned” segments. RBH failed to link the cigarette brand consistently with segment‐appropriate imagery during a time when legislation prompted a shift in promotional spending by the Canadian tobacco industry towards sponsorship communications. Unlike ITL, RBH failed to capitalize on the potential of sponsorship to contemporize the Rothmans brand and make it relevant to younger smokers. Moreover, RBH was slow to introduce a so‐called “light” line extension, which would appeal to existing smokers with health concerns. Originality/value – This study should particularly interest researchers and practitioners interested in marketing and public policy, in which insight is provided about unique challenges to marketing in Canada on the basis of government regulation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Historical Research in Marketing Emerald Publishing

Brand mismanagement: Rothmans cigarette marketing, 1957‐2000

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1755-750X
DOI
10.1108/17557501111157779
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess, by providing a case study of flagship brand, Rothmans, why Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), Canada's second largest tobacco firm, has historically lost ground to industry leader, Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited (ITL). Design/methodology/approach – The paper utilizes data from internal corporate documents, made public from litigation, as well as trade press and promotional materials accessed from advertising archives. More specifically, the tobacco industry documents reviewed were made public from two Canadian trials: the 1989 Canadian trial to decide the constitutionality of the Tobacco Products Control Act; and the 2002 Quebec Superior Court trial in which Canada's three major tobacco firms challenged the constitutionality of the Tobacco Act. Findings – The declining market share of Rothmans is largely explained by the brand's inability to appeal to the highly valued youth or “health concerned” segments. RBH failed to link the cigarette brand consistently with segment‐appropriate imagery during a time when legislation prompted a shift in promotional spending by the Canadian tobacco industry towards sponsorship communications. Unlike ITL, RBH failed to capitalize on the potential of sponsorship to contemporize the Rothmans brand and make it relevant to younger smokers. Moreover, RBH was slow to introduce a so‐called “light” line extension, which would appeal to existing smokers with health concerns. Originality/value – This study should particularly interest researchers and practitioners interested in marketing and public policy, in which insight is provided about unique challenges to marketing in Canada on the basis of government regulation.

Journal

Journal of Historical Research in MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2011

Keywords: Brand strategy; Advertising; Sponsorship; Marketing and public policy; Tobacco; Canada

References