Anti-Tobacco Youth Movement Marks an Extraordinary First Year; After Just 1 Year, 20,000 Youth Fighting Back Against an Industry Outspending Them 19-to-1

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Target Market

    ST. PAUL, Minn., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- On the eve of its first
 anniversary, the youth anti-tobacco movement Target Market (TM) announced
 today that its membership has eclipsed the 20,000 mark within just 12 months.
     One year ago tomorrow, Target Market was founded by 400 Minnesota young
 people at a gathering in St. Cloud.  Delivering its message youth-to-youth
 through ads, events, news coverage, grassroots activities and one-on-one
 contacts, the original group has swollen to 20,000.  The organization's
 original goal was to have 5,000 members by July, putting it 400% ahead of that
 goal.
     "If we can achieve this much in just twelve months, the tobacco industry
 should be worried," said Matt Novak, a junior at Mounds View High and a TM
 leader.  "Our ads and events are finally allowing young people to have a voice
 that can compete with the tobacco industry."
     TM has its work cut out for it.  While the tobacco industry proclaims in
 ads that it has changed due to reforms required by recent lawsuits, its
 marketing budget has actually increased by a whopping 22% since the
 settlements.  While it can no longer use billboards and gear, studies show
 tobacco executives have simply shifted millions of dollars into ads in
 magazines youth read and convenience stores popular with youth.  (See:
 http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/addicting/ ).  For every $1 TM spends
 getting its message out through ads and events, the industry spends about $19,
 based on data released last month by the Federal Trade Commission. (See:
 http://www.ftc.gov/reports/cigarettes/1999cigarettereport.pdf )
     TM achieved its incredible youth-to-youth recruiting gains through
 award-winning TV and radio advertising, events at statewide gathering spots
 like the Mall of America and State Fair, a series of traveling exhibits and
 events designed to reach all parts of the state and its popular website
 TMvoice.com.
     "The Governor and Legislature challenged us to take control of this
 movement, and we've done that," said Novak.  "TM's tone and attitude may not
 be what adults would choose, but our job is convince other young people, not
 adults."
     TM is the centerpiece of a tobacco prevention initiative being funded with
 interest generated by the newly created $490 million Minnesota Youth Tobacco
 Endowment.  The principal of that 15-year endowment may not be spent on
 tobacco prevention, only the interest.  The endowment was created with
 8 percent of the $6.1 billion Minnesota tobacco lawsuit settlement.  The other
 92% of the tobacco settlement is being used for other purposes other than
 tobacco prevention or is not yet obligated.
     Note:  The following facts provide additional information about TM's first
 year achievements.  Additional information is available at
 http://www.TMvoice.com .
 
   What Has the Target Market Youth Movement Achieved In Its First 12 months?
 
     Birth of a Large and Growing Youth Movement
     -- Statewide youth summit launched with 400 youth from every county in the
        state to create and organize the youth-led, adult-guided
        Target Market (TM) movement.
     -- Already recruited 20,000 youth members from every county in Minnesota.
        Starting with zero members a year ago, TM is 400% ahead of its
        recruitment goal for the period.
     -- Held grassroots events in every county of the state.
     -- Holding first statewide TM Board meeting in April with two delegates
        from each county.
     -- TMvoice.com has logged over 3 million hits and become a "virtual
        office" for statewide members.
     -- Organized first statewide activity, a "Rip It Out" campaign to
        publicize the recent increase tobacco advertising into magazines
        popular with young people.
     -- Within just the initial 8 months of TM being on the ground, the number
        of teens who say they had participated in a tobacco control events had
        doubled.
     -- TM movement named Newsmaker of the Year by Women's Press.
 
     The Voice of TM Youth:  The Award-Winning Ad Campaign
     -- TM Ad Committee of teens activated to shape several TM radio, TV and
        print ads.  The ads serve to greatly strengthen the voice of TM youth.
     -- Over 100 MN youth speaking for themselves are portrayed in ads, as
        opposed to scripted actors.
     -- Used same tactics the tobacco industry has used to successfully market
        to teens, including gear incentives and sponsorship of youth music and
        extreme sports.  (Note: For every $1 dollar TM spends countering
        tobacco marketing, the industry spends $19 in MN alone.)
     -- 90% of teens rate TM ads as pretty good or excellent.
     -- Honored with two national youth marketing awards for Best TV PSA and
        Best Radio Ad.  Currently national finalists in the categories of Best
        Integrated Marketing Campaign and Best Special Event.
 
     Preliminary Results
     -- Pre-campaign 1000-sample statewide benchmark survey completed in
        January 2000.  First follow-up 1000-sample survey to be completed in
        July 2001.  Initial changes in awareness, attitudes and behavior will
        be gauged at that time.
     -- On a scale of one to ten -- one being "Strongly Disagree" -- youth
        respondents from around the state averaged over an 8 rating in strong
        agreement with these two statements:  "TM has more youth involvement
        than past anti-tobacco initiatives (8.2 rating)"  "I am more likely to
        listen to young people involved in TM than past groups that delivered
        anti-tobacco messages (8.3 rating)."
     -- Though still very early, there are initial indications that the message
        is sticking.  For instance, 82% of middle school students attending the
        traveling Tobacco Document Tour exhibit agreed or strongly agreed that
        what they learned at the exhibit will impact their decision not to
        smoke.
 
 

SOURCE Target Market
    ST. PAUL, Minn., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- On the eve of its first
 anniversary, the youth anti-tobacco movement Target Market (TM) announced
 today that its membership has eclipsed the 20,000 mark within just 12 months.
     One year ago tomorrow, Target Market was founded by 400 Minnesota young
 people at a gathering in St. Cloud.  Delivering its message youth-to-youth
 through ads, events, news coverage, grassroots activities and one-on-one
 contacts, the original group has swollen to 20,000.  The organization's
 original goal was to have 5,000 members by July, putting it 400% ahead of that
 goal.
     "If we can achieve this much in just twelve months, the tobacco industry
 should be worried," said Matt Novak, a junior at Mounds View High and a TM
 leader.  "Our ads and events are finally allowing young people to have a voice
 that can compete with the tobacco industry."
     TM has its work cut out for it.  While the tobacco industry proclaims in
 ads that it has changed due to reforms required by recent lawsuits, its
 marketing budget has actually increased by a whopping 22% since the
 settlements.  While it can no longer use billboards and gear, studies show
 tobacco executives have simply shifted millions of dollars into ads in
 magazines youth read and convenience stores popular with youth.  (See:
 http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/addicting/ ).  For every $1 TM spends
 getting its message out through ads and events, the industry spends about $19,
 based on data released last month by the Federal Trade Commission. (See:
 http://www.ftc.gov/reports/cigarettes/1999cigarettereport.pdf )
     TM achieved its incredible youth-to-youth recruiting gains through
 award-winning TV and radio advertising, events at statewide gathering spots
 like the Mall of America and State Fair, a series of traveling exhibits and
 events designed to reach all parts of the state and its popular website
 TMvoice.com.
     "The Governor and Legislature challenged us to take control of this
 movement, and we've done that," said Novak.  "TM's tone and attitude may not
 be what adults would choose, but our job is convince other young people, not
 adults."
     TM is the centerpiece of a tobacco prevention initiative being funded with
 interest generated by the newly created $490 million Minnesota Youth Tobacco
 Endowment.  The principal of that 15-year endowment may not be spent on
 tobacco prevention, only the interest.  The endowment was created with
 8 percent of the $6.1 billion Minnesota tobacco lawsuit settlement.  The other
 92% of the tobacco settlement is being used for other purposes other than
 tobacco prevention or is not yet obligated.
     Note:  The following facts provide additional information about TM's first
 year achievements.  Additional information is available at
 http://www.TMvoice.com .
 
   What Has the Target Market Youth Movement Achieved In Its First 12 months?
 
     Birth of a Large and Growing Youth Movement
     -- Statewide youth summit launched with 400 youth from every county in the
        state to create and organize the youth-led, adult-guided
        Target Market (TM) movement.
     -- Already recruited 20,000 youth members from every county in Minnesota.
        Starting with zero members a year ago, TM is 400% ahead of its
        recruitment goal for the period.
     -- Held grassroots events in every county of the state.
     -- Holding first statewide TM Board meeting in April with two delegates
        from each county.
     -- TMvoice.com has logged over 3 million hits and become a "virtual
        office" for statewide members.
     -- Organized first statewide activity, a "Rip It Out" campaign to
        publicize the recent increase tobacco advertising into magazines
        popular with young people.
     -- Within just the initial 8 months of TM being on the ground, the number
        of teens who say they had participated in a tobacco control events had
        doubled.
     -- TM movement named Newsmaker of the Year by Women's Press.
 
     The Voice of TM Youth:  The Award-Winning Ad Campaign
     -- TM Ad Committee of teens activated to shape several TM radio, TV and
        print ads.  The ads serve to greatly strengthen the voice of TM youth.
     -- Over 100 MN youth speaking for themselves are portrayed in ads, as
        opposed to scripted actors.
     -- Used same tactics the tobacco industry has used to successfully market
        to teens, including gear incentives and sponsorship of youth music and
        extreme sports.  (Note: For every $1 dollar TM spends countering
        tobacco marketing, the industry spends $19 in MN alone.)
     -- 90% of teens rate TM ads as pretty good or excellent.
     -- Honored with two national youth marketing awards for Best TV PSA and
        Best Radio Ad.  Currently national finalists in the categories of Best
        Integrated Marketing Campaign and Best Special Event.
 
     Preliminary Results
     -- Pre-campaign 1000-sample statewide benchmark survey completed in
        January 2000.  First follow-up 1000-sample survey to be completed in
        July 2001.  Initial changes in awareness, attitudes and behavior will
        be gauged at that time.
     -- On a scale of one to ten -- one being "Strongly Disagree" -- youth
        respondents from around the state averaged over an 8 rating in strong
        agreement with these two statements:  "TM has more youth involvement
        than past anti-tobacco initiatives (8.2 rating)"  "I am more likely to
        listen to young people involved in TM than past groups that delivered
        anti-tobacco messages (8.3 rating)."
     -- Though still very early, there are initial indications that the message
        is sticking.  For instance, 82% of middle school students attending the
        traveling Tobacco Document Tour exhibit agreed or strongly agreed that
        what they learned at the exhibit will impact their decision not to
        smoke.
 
 SOURCE  Target Market