Project Boomerang

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

In 1996, as part of its quality-control efforts, Brown & Williamson (B&W) initiated Project Boomerang to reduce the scope of its returned goods and pick-up policies. Tested in areas including Denver, Salt Lake City, and Boise, Idaho, the primary objective of this research was to evaluate how product age affects consumers' purchase decisions and brand loyalty.


An initial wave of this research was conducted in August of 1996 to provide baseline measures for both B&W smokers and non-B&W smokers. Additional waves of this study were conducted six months and nine months later to identify any changes from these established benchmarks.

Project Boomerang sought to:

  • "Detect any problems that respondents have experienced with staleness,
  • Explore how staleness affects the purchase decision and brand loyalty,
  • Determine the locations where respondents purchase cigarettes,
  • Track any changes in the number of respondents who purchased stale cigarettes,
  • Obtain demographic information." [1]

Articles and Resources


  1. Analytic Insight Inc, "Project Boomerang (Twelve-Months Wave): A report of Research Results", Bates Number 462118044, October 1, 1997.

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