Teen Readership Study Puts Pressure on Tobacco Ads

31 October 2000

A new survey into teenage readership of magazines could pile extra pressure on tobacco manufacturers to pull advertising from some titles.

The study, published today by Simmons Market Research Bureau, found 22 of the 40 major magazines surveyed had teen readerships in excess of 15% or two million in total.

These new figures may reignite the debate over advertising tobacco to teen audiences. Tobacco company Philip Morris pulled its ads in nearly fifty magazines over the summer due to high teen readership.

Gregory Connolly of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health accused Brown & Williamson and R J Reynolds of deliberately targeting this audience: “Their brands are smoked by old people who are dying, and they're desperate to reach the youth market”.

However, Brown & Williamson stated that it would investigate the report’s methodology before voicing any conclusions, while R J Reynolds said it would not pull ads unless teen readership was over one-third.

Among the magazines with a teen readership of over 15% or two million: Vogue, Car Craft, Field & Stream, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, Sport, Seventeen, Spin, Teen, TV Guide, Rolling Stone, Popular Science, YM, Motor Trend, Mademoiselle, InStyle, Hot Rod, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Vibe, Reader's Digest and People.

Less popular with teens were GQ, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, US, Soap Opera Digest, Shape, Self, Star, National Enquirer, National Geographic, Muscle & Fitness, Men's Fitness, Outdoor Life, Popular Mechanics, Jet, Ebony, Essence and Fitness.

News source: Wall Street Journal