Project Lodestar

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Project Lodestar was a plan by the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company (B&W) to increase "smoker concern" among Kuwaiti smokers in order to drive them toward their "low delivery" products, among which sales had been lacking.

Tobacco ads and promotions were banned in Kuwait, so B&W had to use alternative channels to increase "smoker concern, " like press releases, distribution of leaflets to consumers at "key crowded spots," dropping leaflets on the desks of employees in business offices and by contacting women at home.

The number and types of tobacco promotions banned in Kuwait in 1983 gives an idea how much importance the Kuwaiti government gave to protecting its citizens from cigarette marketing:

"Packaging - All packs must carry a health warning... Advertising TV - Tobacco ads banned in 1976 Radio - No commercial stations Cinema - Banned 1976 Outdoor - Banned June 1980 Press - April 1976, ads have to be approved by the Minister of Health. Image campaigns banned... Warning clause must appear in all ads...Must be 10% of space...Warning to be same size as brand name...In-Store branded furniture- banned. Sampling - In stores -- banned. Promotions - Added value and proof of purchase -- banned. Sponsorships -- Sports --banned..."

One objective of Project Lodestar was to

"Stimulate concern among less aware consumers..."

Another part of the plan involved recruiting assistance from the major anti-tobacco group in Kuwait:

"Lobby [the Kuwaiti Anti-Smoking] Society to emphasize low delivery brand alternatives for concerned smokers who do not want to quit smoking..."

These activities were to take place despite the fact that the government sentiment in Kuwait was strongly anti-tobacco and the Kuwaiti Minister of Health had not endorsed low tar and nicotine cigarettes.

Date 19830000
Bates 516008221/8297
Collection Brown & Williamson
Pages 77

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