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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Decide Now, Buy Marlboro”: Examining the influence and appeal of Marlboro’s new brand architecture among Filipino adolescents

Lisa P. Lagasse
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Marela Kay R. MinosaORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9407-8885 / Meghan B. Moran
  • Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Joanna E. Cohen
  • Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-10-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0117


In recent years, Philip Morris International (PMI) launched a global rebranding strategy to expand the reach of Marlboro. Using a mixed-methods design, this study evaluated the appeal and influence of Marlboro advertising among Filipino youth. Six hundred and twenty-three adolescents aged 13–17 years old in Metro Manila participated in a survey, including three advertising conditions: two for Marlboro and one for Mighty, a local cigarette brand. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and paired t-tests evaluated differences between the three conditions on participants’ attitudes toward advertisements [measured as identification, likeability, and perceived effectiveness (PE)]. Compared to Mighty, never-smokers rated Marlboro advertisements as more identifiable and likeable. Comparing by smoking status (never vs. ever), multivariable logistic regression assessed the influence of these attitudes on intention to smoke. Increased likeability was associated with greater intention to smoke among never-smokers, and greater PE increased odds of intention to smoke for both never- and ever-smokers. Additionally, six focus group discussions (FGD) explored responses to campaign messaging. Themes were compared within and across groups. Marlboro was also appealing to FGD participants, who described the ads as attractive to youth and promoting “adventure” and “freedom”, whereas the Mighty brand was seen as being for adults and current smokers. Our findings illustrate that Marlboro advertisements are distinctly appealing to youth. Marlboro rhetoric – where consumers are urged to “decide” to “Be Marlboro” – was particularly powerful. These findings support the need for addressing gaps in policies regulating the marketing and promotion of tobacco in the Philippines.

Keywords: adolescents; advertising; mixed methods; Philippines; tobacco


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About the article

Received: 2018-06-08

Accepted: 2018-07-04

Published Online: 2018-10-02

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180117, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0117.

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