Romancing the Smokes

Smoking globe"In a controversial bid to revive the romance of a habit that's costly, potentially deadly and increasingly on the social fringes, R.J. Reynolds" is launching "a new premium-priced line of smokes" that's only available at "an upscale smoking lounge in a trendy Chicago neighborhood. The lounge has fresh tobacco and a tobacconist who will hand-roll a pack of cigarettes in any of nine flavors." The "exclusivity of the brand ... is creating a buzz," writes AdAge. "And, perhaps a new way of bringing a much-maligned product to market." The creative director at RJR's ad agency, Gyro Worldwide, said the campaign will "create romance." The idea came from company research suggesting "a sizeable group of adult smokers" wanted a "'super-tier' brand" of cigarettes. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' president warned, "The most effective marketing campaigns to kids are those that make cigarettes a part of looking like a successful, virulent young adult."