In-depth study of African-American smokers. Reports that 30% of Philip Morris customers are Black. Presents chart of first usual brand, current brand, previous brand, and second choice, divided by White and Black smokers. Surveys best and worst looking package, Philip Morris taste and image, and perceived health hazards of brands. Includes interviews with several store-owners in upscale Black neighborhoods and several upscale Black smokers. Reports that many respondents react favorably to use of Black models in advertising and pay attention to companies' cooperation with Fair Employment law. Discusses sampling on college campuses. Includes one respondent who opined that Blacks like Philip Morris because the package is rich, dignified, tasteful, and quiet, not garish.
Kool (BW (1933-2003)/RJR (2003-present))
Original document code was 5006.
- Philip Morris Cos., Inc.
- Marketing Type
- Target Market
- African American
- College student
- Upper Class
- Minor Subject
- Advertising and Marketing -ethnic media
- Advertising and Marketing -packaging
- Advertising and Marketing -research --interview
- Advertising and Marketing -target market --college student
- Advertising and Marketing -target market --minority ---African American
- Advertising and Marketing -target market --upper class
- Brand -image
- Brand -preference
- Brand -selection
- Tobacco Industry -internal policies
- Major Subject
- Advertising and Marketing
- Elmo, Roper
- Philip, Morris & Co Ltd Inc
First Menthol cigarette line, released in 1933. Premium priced brand.
Lucky Strike (ATC (until 1996)/ BW (1996-2004)/ RJR (2004 on))
Old Gold (LOR)
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Mr. 0. P. McConsaa -
Mr. Joseph Cu1lnan III'
Isr. H. Y'. Chesleyy Jr.
l9r. Ray Jones
}fr. Robert Iaaisin
Mr. Roger 8reen.
fierbert Wrlght - Mr.
'r. R. N. DnPuis.
SUBJRCTt Progress Report on tIegro
ELm Roper organffsation t'o: undiertake a long range stndT of this area to
?find on~G the reasons for_onr successful operation so that we msy maintain
~i'andi poseibly extend our positioninthis, fieLd,, as well as poss3bly findi
' out factors whicri can be trans,iated to other special areas.
fl The attached is b; no means a report on thisnarket, as smch as it iis a
~ preliiminary discussion nndiposaiblie indication of severai pat'hs of
e,cplora,Uon to be taken.
In view of the large share of' the Negro market we enjoy, we have asked the
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PROGRESS REPORT ON NEGRO h1ARKET' STL1DY
PHILIP MORRIS & CO. LTD,. , INC.
Study Director - B'urnis W. Roper
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TABLF, OF CC=rPTS'
DISCUSSIbN AND RECbMNIENDATIO'NS I-V
SPECIAL TABULATI©NS' OF BENCHMARK STUDY 1-10
DEPTHINTEPtVIEWS WITH TOBACCO RRETAILEFtS'. 11-3©
DEPTH I'=FiVTEWS WITH.' HIGH ECONOMIC
LEVEL rEGRO coNSUMERS'
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DISCUSSION ANID RECnMMEENDATIONS
Among Negro cigarette smokers, Philip Morris is led only by Camels--
and that by a narrow margin. As indicated in our first benchmark study, this
means t11at more than 30 per cent of Philip Morris' customers are Negroes,, and
more than 25 per cent of all Philip Morris cigarettes sold are purchased by
Negroes (the peTcentage of customers being higher than the percentage of con-
sumption because Negroes are relatively light smokers).
Thusy,sales to the Negro masket represent an important segment of
Philip Morris' total business, a segment valuable to have and large enough so
that its los&Would have considerable effect on Philip Morris' over-all
While our original study showed this fact, it did not point to any
particular factor or difference in attitude which wotiLl.d account for Philip
Morris' leadership in this field. We knew that Philip Morris had been an
early leadierin the Negro market, in te~rms, of both; promotion and huma.~n rela-
tions, but we did'.not have evidence as to,wha.t part these factors, what part
the package, and what part the cigarette itself played in gaining,this large
share of the Negro market.
Our first step, in a special investigation of this market was tol
make further comparisons and tabul:ati ons of the Negro group with i,he white
group, using the :.,aterial airailabJ e in the original study. These tabulations
are included'in this report imnediately following this section, They show
no essential difference in the attitude of'Negroes toward Philip Morris from
.the rest of the market. Negroes like Philip!M.orris for the same reasons as
whites do. They characterize it in the same way. Hence, these tabulations
showed no special reasons for Phili'piMorris'' particularly good standing among
Our next step was to conduct some depth interwiews withitobacco
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retailers in Negro residential districts. We felt that these people might have
both special knowledge of consumer preferences, and' also special knowledge of
the company andiits policies. These interviews were made by two members of our
office staff, one Negro and one white> While they were successful in that they
uncovered some information about advertising effectiveness,,etc.., they did not
produce information relevant to the purpose of'this study. We discovered in-
stead that these retailers neither knew nor cared why their customers purchased
a particul-ar brand. -
Perhaps this was best illustrated by one retailer who said, -
"Brother, I got no idea in this world why people buy the brands "
they db--people don"t say why, and I don't ask. That ain't
And as another store owner expressedi it:
"They dbn't tell me why they smoke a brandl--that's not ar,y
business--my business is just that 25 cents."
However, a number of'these interviews have beenlincluded in a sub-
sequent section of this report, because the:r serve to show the type of infor-
mation we diid get as well as the type of information we were seeking but did'
We next went to a groupiof high economic level Negro cigarette
smokers--lawyers, doctors, Civil Service employees, teachers, their wivesy etc..
This particul3r group was selected with several things in m.indi:
(1)' This group would be presumably the most observant and
articulate group. If we could get no specific infor-
mation from this group, it would be fair tolassume that
we could not do so withithose in the lower economic and
(2) These people would be style and thought leaders in the
(3) Because this group could be expected to be more sophisticated
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about race differences, by directing their attention to our
specific problemlin an informal open-end interview, we
might get information which would enable us to construct a
questionnaire which could be used with Negro smokers in all
We therefore made eleven test interviews in a high economic level
Negro apartment house in New York City, using a questionnaire designed mainly
as an outline of the considerations on which we wanted the respondents to ex-
press their opinions. A copy of this questionnaire-recordiing,form precedes
the sample interviews in the section of this report entitled "Interviews with
High Economic Level Negroes."
As a result of these test interviews, we feel that this technique
is definitely worth further development. This is not because every interview
was productive. Only about half of the interviews offered useful material.
(Answers from the five productive interviews
are included'later in thiss
report.) We feel, however, that these interviews are interesting and that
more of them might produce a pattern of'
results that wouldl not
only be "inter- ~
esting," but possibly "conclusive'". There were, for exa:nrple,, several mentions
of the importance of integration of whites and Negroes in cigarette promotion,
one respondent recommending it as a next step and another giving nrtht:r Godfrey
credit for the way he handled the situation on his programs. I!n a number of
cases, the advantages of'leadership in hiring Negroes was mentionedi, jithispe-
cific examples of products and compa.nies that lost business because of poor race
relations. Still another respondent mentioned the appeal of the Philip Morris
package desigu. He thought Negroes might like to use it to demonstrate their
sophisticatediand discriminatory gpoditaste.
There areYhoweverysome problems about this technique andithe.
material it produces which,we feel should be evaluated before doing more inter-
views. For example, when respondents tell us what motivates other Negroes, or
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why Philip Morris appeals to others, are they actually telling us about them-
selves, or are they telling,us how they think other people feel? And, if they
are telli'ng us how others feel, are they right or wrong'?' In add.ition, are we
exploring all the hypotheses we should explore?
We would therefore specifi'cally reconmiend tlzat:
(1) The interviews already made be examined by trained psychol-
ogists who would make some evalias.tion of the nature of the
information we are getting and be able to make suggestions -
for possible improvements in the technique. We would also `
wa:nt these psychologists to advance additional theories for
us to explore in sqbsequent interviewsa Without further
exploration, we are not sure who would make ideal consult-
ants, but we have two possible candid'ates in mindo
Dr. Bayton, who was one of the members of your Negro Ylarket
Seminar, andl Re:nato T+agiuri of Harvard, who while probably
less well informed about this specific market beirngwhite
himself, might give us a: more objective view because he wa&
not himself'a part of that market.
--(2)' Once we had this evaluation and had decided on any revisions
in technique and questionnaire, we would" do thirty to fifty
more interviFws, some more around' here, and some in the
South. (As indicated by one of the respondents to the test
interviews, we might well get a very different picture fromi
Southern Negroes. In any event, we do not feel that we
would be getting a~bal:anced picture just by talking to Negroes
in and around New York. ) We would pl.ano to use the same Negroa
staff'member who dlid these test interviews to do the rest of'
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(3) We woula then call on one or both of the consulting psychol-
ogists to assist us in our evaluation of these additional
interviews, and either contribute to our ansLysis or perhaps
present a separate analysis of their owni.
When we finished all this, we should have:
A better., if not conclusive,, picture of this market and~hotir it
A decision as to whether and how a general cross section of the
Negro market could be further explored to produce vrorth-while
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SPECIAL TABULATIOrTSOF BENCHhtA~ STUDY