Marshall McGearty Cigarettes Look beyond the Lounge

The artisan flavors—The Earl, The Empress, The Standard and Oriental Rose— quickly became the best-selling Cigarettes at the smoking lounge. ...

Marshall McGearty Cigarettes are leaving the lounge. Having built up brand awareness for its super-premium tobacco via a smoker’s lounge, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco is now pushing its line of Marshall McGearty Cigarettes into Chicago and Seattle test markets. The No. 2 tobacco giant opened the Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge in December 2005. This trendy smoker’s hangout, in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, was the exclusive source of four styles of Marshall McGearty smokes. The artisan flavors—The Earl, The Empress, The Standard and Oriental Rose— quickly became the best-selling Cigarettes at the smoking lounge. Now these products will also be available at specialty tobacco stores, Web, phone, and other outlets for about $2 More than premium brands like Marlboro and Camel. Support includes print ads, created by Gyro Worldwide, Philadelphia, in alternative weeklies such as the Chicago Reader and Seattle Weekly, which hail the availability of Marshall McGearty Cigarettes at select retailers. Despite RJR announcing Tuesday that it would stop advertising all its brands in newspapers and consumer magazines beginning next year, print buys could continue for Marshall McGearty products. Oversight of the brand will be transferRed next year to Santa Fe Natural Tobacco, a unit of parent company Reynolds American that already is positioned in the super premium segment through its own Natural American Spirit brand. Santa Fe does not fall under R.J. Reynolds Tobacco's new advertising policy—a change that company said it is making to maximize the efficiency of its marking communication. Reynolds had been criticized by anti-tobacco groups for cigarette ad placement in publications that are read by minors like Rolling Stone and fashion magazines. Organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids grew More vocal after RJR introduced Camel No. 9 last January. The company said the brand extension targeted adult women, but opponents charged that the campaign aimed for teenage girls and young women. Reynolds spent $35 million on print between January through September and $47 million last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

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