“Don’t be a Maybe - be Marlboro” – New Advertising Campaign in Germany

December 6th, 2013 00:00
Don't be a Maybe - be Marlboro

Leading cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris has launched a series of advertisements for Marlboro cigarettes which have decorated bus stops and a lot of walls all over Germany, after government bodies declared they were targeted at youngsters.

The range of English-language slogans recommending smokers “Don’t be a Maybe - be Marlboro” were identified by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper as one of the most appealing recent cigarette advertisement campaigns. Such slogans as “Maybe never fell in love” and “Maybe never feels free”, may have left some German speakers confused, but as the magazine highlights, the concept of “Maybe” being or not being something is complicated to translate. But the marketing campaign, which combined the slogans with pictures of teenagers having a good time or kissing in a disco, annoyed government bodies in Munich who noticed they were targeted at the younger generation - which is particularly banned for tobacco companies.

Munich city regulators asked Philip Morris to set out the worries, forcing the cigarette maker to stop the advertising campaign - even though they refused any wrongdoing. “We are confident that the Marlboro advertisement campaign complies with the appropriate laws,” a representative stated a few days ago. “But we have made a decision to eliminate the Marlboro Maybe posters, while we take a look at the claims and keep on our conversations with the government bodies.”

Johannes Spatz, representative of the Rauchfrei anti-smoking team, stated he was satisfied with the decision. “This is a success,” he stated, indicating it was the first time that regulators had acted against such a tobacco marketing ampaign. He added he wanted this could mark the beginning of a shift in attitudes to cigarette advertising, which is still much more widespread in Germany than many other European countries.

A statement from the Germany Research Centre several months ago asked for a rapid prohibit on all tobacco advertising. “The procedure of cigarette advertising in this country is irresponsible,” stated Otmar Wiestler, manager of the center. “Cigarettes are completely distinct from any other legitimately sold product, simply because they pose the biggest preventable cancer danger. The truth that they are very dangerous to health is sufficient cause for them to have a particular status. “As a result they should also be offered particular status by a thorough advertising ban, which can't be found for any other consumer product.

By Steve Shepherd, Staff Writer.
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