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Tobacco Industry Marketing at Point of Purchase After 1998 MSA Billboard Advertising Ban

Wakefield MA, Terry-McElrath YM, Chaloupka FJ, Barker DC, Slater SJ, Clark PI, Giovino GA. American Journal of Public Health, 92(6): 937-940, 2002.

Point-of-purchase marketing has become increasingly important for the tobacco industry in the United States. In the wake of the 1998 master settlement agreement (MSA) that required tobacco advertising on billboards across the country to end on April 24, 1999, the point-of-purchase environment is likely to assume even greater importance in the industry’s marketing efforts. One goal of the billboard advertising ban (as well as other MSA advertising and promotion restrictions) was to reduce youth exposure to cigarette advertising. However, previous research suggests that the tobacco industry is able to compensate for an inability to advertise in one medium by transferring advertising dollars to other marketing activities. Accordingly, there is concern that the MSA billboard advertising ban may merely shift tobacco advertising funding to other efforts, such as point-of-purchase marketing. In this study, we used data from a unique national sample of retailers to explore changes in the point-of-purchase environment after implementation of the billboard tobacco advertising ban.

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