B&W Problem Lab. G/W s; Idea

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

B&W Problem Lab. G/W s; Idea

This document is another in the Brown & Williamson (B&W) "Problem Lab" series, which appears to have resulted from brainstorming sessions held among B&W employees in the late 1970s. The goal of the sessions appears to have been to deal with marketing dilemmas and predict future trends in cigarette sales. Much of this document deals with marketing. One very interesting section examines marketing to youth.

The first problem employees dealt with was "How [can we] better estimate future environment for tobacco industry and B&W growth (Trends, directions, and major events rather than numbers)." Action steps included studying the resulting list, picking out two or three of the most do-able ideas and working with them.

Some of the ideas on the list make it appear that B&W employees knew in 1977 that the product harmed consumers:

1. How have a cigarette that's cancer free.
2. How live w/ growing concern about health issue...

...4. How smoke something that burns and won't hurt you...

Other ideas indicate that tobacco company employees regarded tobacco use as being in the same realm as use of other drugs. (Disordered numbers result from culling similar topics from different lists):

9. How chemically develop cig benefits for state of mind.
4. Check for correlation between emotional climate to stimulant used.
...14. Legalization of marijuana...
23. How look at history of stimulants (What used before/in place of tobacco) or opposite of stimulants.

9. Does the human need a certain quantity of drugs and he gets it in some form.

In another exercise, the "Problem As Given" was to "measure the intensity of the attitudes of children or other precursor groups" [about smoking] and then to list "WAYS WE MIGHT GO ABOUT GETTING THESE ATTITUDES." Suggestions include:

1. Contact leading firms in terms of children research, e.g., Gilbert/Reilley
2. Look back at history for underlying trends, e.g., look at [youth] fads and see if [they] come up again.
3. Contact Sesame Street.
4. Get a raft of 15 year olds who are not smoking--excessive amount of questions--go back 3 or 4 years later and see who is smoking.
5. Contact Gerber, Schwinn, Mattel.

...14. Determine why these young people were not becoming smokers.

For people outside the U.S., "Sesame Street" is an American educational television program aimed at very young children that teaches basic literacy lessons like the alphabet and numbers. Gerber manufactures baby food, Schwinn makes bicycles and Mattel is an American toy manufacturer.

Title B&W Problem Lab. G/W s; Idea.
Author B&W
Date 19770427
Type Questionnaire; Form
Bates 170040579/0582
Pages 5
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/kfr83f00

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