Camel Cigarette Ads Score Big with Teen Girls

An ad campaign for Camel No. 9 cigarettes scored high marks with a curious demographic - teen girls.

According to a study in the medical journal Pediatrics, and reported on by the USA Today, Camel ads in magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Glamour were popular with girls age 12 to 16.

Camel launched its No. 9 cigarette in 2007 and ran promotional giveaways which included flavored lip balm, cell phone jewelry, purses and wristbands, the study said.

Since 1998, tobacco companies have agreed not to target children with their advertising. The cigarette's maker, R.J. Reynolds, insists the campaign abided by that agreement, citing the fact that 85 percent of those magazines' readers were over 18.

The study, published Monday, consisted of interviews with 1,063 adolescents.

According to the data, 22 percent of teen girls listed the Camel ads as their favorite in 2008, a year after the campaign was launched. That figure was double the number of girls who favored camel in four previous interviews and suggests the new ads were responsible for the increased approval rating.

The study suggests there's a link between being able to remember cigarette ads and smoking - non-smoking kids who can recall ads are 50 percent more likely to take up the habit.

Boys' attitudes toward the ads weren't affected by Camel's campaign, according to the study.

David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds, said the cigarette maker pulled print ads in 2008.