Battle of the brands

By AdNews | 13 January 2006

LONGBEACH VS WINFIELD PARENTS The Longbeach cigarette brand is owned by Philip Morris International, a division of Altria. Philip Morris shipped 948 billion cigarettes in 2004, making it the world's largest cigarette maker. In Australia Philip Morris has an equal 40% market share with BATA. 5/5 Winfield is owned by British American Tobacco Australia (BATA), a division of the world's second largest tobacco group, with shipments of 853 billion cigarettes in 2004. Along with Philip Morris, BATA dominates the local market, well ahead of third-placed player Imperial Tobacco with its 19% share. 4/5 ADVERTISING Longbeach 40s were introduced to Australia by parent Philip Morris in the late '80s just as the last of the advertising channels for tobacco companies were being closed down. It therefore lacked the rich heritage of its competitor's association with Paul Hogan and his "Anyhow . . . Have a Winfield" slogan. 0/5 In 1975 John Singleton said of Winfield's ad campaign: "For four years now I have given Winfield my vote as the most brilliant piece of Australian humorous communication I have ever seen. If I had done Winfield, instead of Hertz Walpole, I would die of lung cancer a happy man." 5/5 SPIN Tobacco companies are very careful not to appear to be promoting smoking per se. This is from Philip Morris: "Our marketing is strictly about encouraging adult smokers to choose our brands." 4/5 BATA is even more careful: "Our business is not about persuading people to smoke; it is about offering quality brands to adults who have already taken the decision to smoke." 5/5 VARIETIES Longbeach varieties include Finesse, Fine Flavour, Rich Flavour and our favourite - Menthol Fresh. What's fresh about cigarette smoke is anyone's guess. 4/5 Winfield varieties are almost all based on colours - Red, Gold, White and the iconic Winnie Blue - plus perhaps the most apt, Winfield Grey. 3/5 TEEN APPEAL According to a 2002 Australian School Students' Alcohol and Drug survey, Longbeach lags well behind Winfield and Peter Jackson as the smoke of choice among teenagers, registering a mere 4% market share. 1/5 Winfield is the king of the teenage smokes with a 29% share, according to the 2002 ASSAD survey. Philip Morris' budget Peter Jackson brand has a 28% share of the market. 5/5 ALTERNATIVES The potential launch of Philip Morris' handheld nicotine inhaler, Aria, has stalled. Meanwhile, it is close to introducing so-called Potentially Reduced Exposure Cigarettes (PREPs). 3/5 BAT is trialling snus - finely-ground tobacco in sachets placed under the upper lip - in South Africa. It is also believed to be close to launching its own brand of Potentially Reduced Exposure Cigarettes. 4/5 Longbeach: 17/30 Winfield: 26/30

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