Trend Influence Marketing

The public is generally unaware of a new marketing strategy used by the tobacco industry. Tobacco companies conduct these operations surreptitiously. Representatives of the tobacco industry hire trend-conscious individuals to infiltrate concerts, restaurants and bars, and other cultural events.

They train these moles to be hip, fit in with the crowd and look like one of the guys -- or gals. They give away tobacco products and samples, promotional items and other high-quality gifts.

This tactic is referred to as Trend Influence Marketing or TIM. The public is relatively unaware of this promotional strategy. TIM abandons standard advertising campaigns and moves directly into the arena of trying to set trends.

R.J. Reynolds utilizes TIM to increase the popularity of Camel cigarettes. We believe Philip Morris conducts a similar campaign for their Marlboro product.

We found this example of TIM personnel recruitment in Albuquerque's Weekly Alibi. KBA Lifestyle Marketing works closely with tobacco companies (see image at right).

Tobacco companies believe that shoving products in the face of the consumer is no longer a successful way to infiltrate the market. They believe young consumers are most influenced by what they see in the hands of friends, not by some stiff riding a horse in a magazine advertisement.

For this program to be executed properly, the marketing company must remain almost invisible. They work to ensure that none of their actions appear sales-oriented. They strive to ensure everything they do will be perceived as cool. Their ultimate objective is to have "hipsters" feel as though smoking is their idea, and that they started the trend.

GenX recruitment

It is inconceivable we tolerate unethical advertising and deceptive promotional activities.

A comprehensive review of Trend Influence Marketing, illustrating the scope of the deceptive practices, is located here.

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