Report Concerning Public Smoking Attitudes and Issues Prepared by RJR Marketing Consultant Transmitted to RJR in-House and Outside Legal Counsel, RJR Employees, RJR Managerial Employees Detailing Issues Discussed at A Meeting Between RJR in-House Legal Counsel, RJR Marketing Consultants and Outside Legal Counsel for Tobacco Companies to Assist in the Rendering of Legal Advice.
Date: 12 Oct 1978
Length: 19 pages
Jump To Images
Length: 19 pages
Jump To Images
- Schenkel, W.J.
- Peterson, J.R.
- Wilson, J.T.
- Christopher, F.H. Jr
- Crohn, Max H., Jr. (RJR Attorney, General Counsel, CTR Director)Max H. Crohn Jr. was the former General Counsel for R.J. Reynolds and he worked for Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan.
Page 1: 500009191
A Narrative of Key Events in the SOSAS Project Several names occur period~cally throughout this narrative. For brevity, initials have been used where ~ppropriate as follows: JP - Jim Peterson GH - Griff Harlow CT - Charles Tucker M~ - Max Crohn DD - Dennis Durden RS - Ron Sustana HC - Hudnall Christopher EJ - Edward Jacob RR- Richard Ryan TD - Tom Dillon WS - Willia~ Shinn "" March 1977 - On March 22, the first meeting of the National Commission on Smoking and Public Policy was held in Los Angeles. The purpose was to gather testimony from objective (though ACS hand-picked) witnesses regarding the danger of smoking. Seven more regional hearings were conducted in May/June. - On March 25, W. Hobbs met with Senior Management of his five agencies (TDpresent for BBDO) to brief them on the ACS "Target Five" program. A short term solution was discussed to send tobacco industry sponsored witnesses to the next ACS hearing. Nine longer term strategic solutions were also discussed. 0 0 0
Page 2: 500009192
-2- April_ - On April I, L. Light of BBDO presented the joint opinion and rationale of all five RJR agencies that industry sponsored witnesses should not participate in ACS hearings. BBDO recom- mended establishing a task force to develop a plan to confront longer-term problems confronting the industry. May - On May 2, L. Light presented 15 anti-smoking issues and possible responses to each of those issues. June - On June 3, HC forwarded RJR legal comments to TD regarding Mr. Light's "Issues and Answers" presentation. - A research study conducted in June 1977 by V. L. Tarrance indicated that the Tobacco Industry image was not particularly positive. The Industry was rated 5th of 5 and below both the Liquor and Oil Industries. - Focus groups were conducted by the Beaumont Organization in June to identify smoking-related issues and their relative importance to the general population. Irritation to non- smokers and non-smoker health were qualified as the t~.D most important issues. This study was managed byGH and also represented the first formal, advisory involvement by BBDO Research.
Page 3: 500009193
-3- ~ - Public Opinion Research was launched to identify major industry problems and possible positions of greatest appeal to general pub! !c. - On July 11, Agency Management (TD), Account and Creative Groups met with JP and HC in Winston-Salem to discuss overview of SOSAS project. August - On August 16, BBDO Account and Creative Groups were briefed on anti-~moking issues by RJR Legal and R&D in Winston/Salem. - In August 1977 BBDO prepared a summary of the history of pro- hibition to underscore the similarity of events leading to prohibition compared with current anti-smoking activities. - BBDO continued work on the development and refinement of basic concepts representing viable long-term SOSAS directions. September - Several meetings were held throughout September with PJR personnel to. review on-going basic concept progress.
Page 4: 500009194
-4- October - On October 21-22 the SOSAS retreat was held in NYC. The purpose was to review the SOSAS charter and objectives, share data developed to date, and firm up direction and priorities. Three research studies were also reviewed as follows: - Research was conducted by the Beaumont Organization to quantify smoking-related issues identified in earlier research. A major finding was that non-smokers' health emerged as a serious concern among smokers (51%) as well as non-smokers (7~%). Mmreover, smokers appeared to offer little resistance to further restrictions on smoking. - In-depth interviews were conducted by Civil Service, Inc. in early fall 1977 to relate smoking to various lifestyle segments in the general population. In general, this study suggested that the smoker is not perceived highly either by himself or by non- smokers. However, the study also showed that people dislike further government regulations except for the anti-smoking zealots who are uncompromising in their cause. - Results were also released of the Opinion Leader Research con- ducted by the Edelman organization. 'l"ne research consistc~ of ncigarette related" conversations with media, govenment, and corporate executives, i~ng the findings was that ~noking is becoming less socially acceptable and that a "courtesy" campaign was desirable. Opinion leaders generally placed little credence in the passive smoking issue.
Page 5: 500009195
-5- November - A nleeting was held on November 22 at BBDO with Mr. Shinn commenting on several SOSAS position statements. Based on these comments various positions were eliminated from future consideration due to legal considerations. - BBDO supplied several demographically acceptable test markets to Roy "Pfautch and the Edelman oranization. personnel further resticted this market list on the basis of the local press, severity of local anti-smoking climate etc. Tw9 test areas (Erie, Pa. and Des Moines, Iowa) and two matched control areas (York, Pa~, and Omaha, Neb.) resulted from this o process. BBDO reiterated its concerns with test marketing, stating that test markets would forfeit the surprise element. Also, measuring attitude shift over such a short time interval would probably result in inconclusive data. December - In a December 5 meeting with HC it was confirmed that BBDO's #I responsibility for all work would be the passive smoking issue. Also con~ents from Messrs. Crohn, Shinn, and Jacob would be incorporated into several alternative concepts prior to group sessions to be held later that month. - On December 13, concepts were finalized with RJR MRD in NYC ar~l the first focu-~ groups were conducted ~ New Jersey. - BBDO attended focus groups in Seattle on December 19.
Page 6: 500009196
-6- - BBDO attended focus groups in St. Louis on December 20. - From the focus groups four positions emerged as being most viable for future consideration: Non-Smokers' Health, Courtesy, Smokers' Right to Smoke, Additional Government Regulations. Tne first of these potential positions, Non-Smokers' Health, was judged to have the greatest promise. - Also in December, results were received from the Yankelov-ich Corporate Priorities Research designed to measure public policy pressure on business. The research was conducted among leadership people (government, media, financial) as well as the general popula- tion. High proportions of both population segments view passive smoking as a health hazard and see increased cigarette tax as the next public policy target. In general, there was little confidenoe in business with most people feeling that there'is an over-emphasis on profit at the expense of public interest. - In December BBDO was charged with identifying various service programs (fire prevention was among those suggested) for public relations purposes. The Agency forwarded its proposal and suggested some preliminary research to determine the potential downside of relating the tobacco industry (cigarette ~noking) with fire prevention. Tne public service program was later dropped from consideration. - In December RJR concluded that the "prime prospect" for SOSAS related projects should be the voter.
Page 7: 500009197
-7- January 1978 - On January ii, Mr. Califano (HEW) announced an ambitious govern- ment anti-smoking program. - BBDO conducted a hotline regarding Mr. Califano's statement on January 12. ReSults were that 72% were aware of this announcement; 56% on an unaided basis. Califano was personally identified by 21% of those aware. - Based on the December focus groups, ~DO began writing ads to the four basic poStioning statements. On January 24 a meeting was held in W/S with JP, where the Agency presented 24 print ads (3 ads each of 8 campaign ideas written to 4 strategies). MC supplied detailed Legal con~nents. JP invited the Agency to present the creative to Messrs. Sticht and Stokes in early February. - In January 1978 the Tobacco Institute tested two ads ("Good Green Land", "Tobacco Leaf") to determine their ability to generate a favorable attitudinal shift toward the industry. Tne ads w~re tested in "family" states and received directionally if not signi- ficantly positive results.
Page 8: 500009198
-8- - Also in January, a study was conducted by V. L. Tarrance in California to gauge attitudes toward a proposed California smoking restriction law. There was significant support for the law among ~11 segments sampled. However attitudes in favor of the law dropped as costs to the taxpayer increased. - On January 31, the National Commission on .~moking and Public Policy recommended a far-reaching anti-smoking program which was covered broadly by the media. February- BBDO conducted a hotline regarding this announcement on February i. 51% of the population was aware of the announcement. - Based on suggestions from the January 24 co_;my meeting and subseguent discussion at BBDO, creative develo~ent proceeded on i0 campaign ideas (5 of the original 8 from the January 24 meeting and 5 new ideas). These were shown to HC, GH, and RR at BBDO on February 2. At this meeting Agency Management (TD) presented 12 possible SOSAS positions and strategies that were considered for develo~nent. After reviewing the pros and cons of each position TD recommended one strategy ("Tobacco Smoke Does Not Cause Disease In Non-Smokers") as most likely to affect the outcome of present anti-smoking propaganda. ~e primary reasons for pursueing this strategy were twofold as follows: a.) anti- smoking forces are presently attempting to communicate that passive smoking is harmful, and b) if successful, a smoker could not then defend his position on the grounds that he is only hurting himself. The need for concise and believeable substantiation for the recommended strategy was underscored along with the need to reach voters on
Page 9: 500009199
-9- public opinion records as well as opinion leaders. Due to the strong anticipated counter-attack by anti-smoking forces, TD also reco~ended that the eventual SOSAS ad(s) be straight-forward and non-"slick" so that they would not give the impression of a Madison Avenue prepared campaign backed by substantial Tobacco Industry dollars. Additiona'lly, it was reconmended that t~he ads be tested under tight laboratory conditions to determine the degree of attitude shift that might be expected. TD suggested that.only then should test marketing be considered since a, formal test market might result in a counter-attack being started well before any SOSAS national effort, and thereby blunting the content of our message. - On February 2-3, W. McGuire, Yale Psychology Professor, reviewed the I0 advertising campaigns in NY with BBDO and RJR personnel. ~ne discussions confirmed several major principles guiding "issue" advertising and suggestions were offered to increase the communi- cation impact for certain campaigns. Further discussions were planned to subjectively reduce the number of campaigns for subse- quent testing. - Due to heavy snowfall in NYC, the presentation to Messrs. Sticht and Stokes was postponed until February i0.
Page 10: 500009200
-I0- - On February 9 the Agency reviewed this ~resentation with JP, DD, HC, and RS. Agency Management (TD) again presented the BBDO position on passive saoking. - On February i0, Agency Management gave a presentation of SOSAS creative develo~nent to date to the RJR Public Relations Management. ~ On February i0, a meeting was held with Messrs. Sticht and Stokes attending. A limited selection of SOSAS creative was presented (i ad each for 6 campaign ideas). Agency Management (TD) presented BBEO's position regarding how and why passive smoking should be the key SOSAS issue versus several other viable positions. Tne presentation was favor- ably received and general approval was given to refine the creative for eventual copy testing. - On February 14 BBDO conducted a hotline on the meaning of the word "disease." Conclusion: "Disease is what you can catch; what you do to yourself is not a disease." - On February 21 JP and HC updated the Tobacoo Institute on SOSAS progress to date. -- - On February 22 BBEO updated CT on SO~AS.