Print publishers, get ready: There could be some substantial dollars coming your way as Lorillard Tobacco Co. prepares to launch two new cigarettes.
Magazines are already seeing a spending uptick from e-cigarette ads. But now ads for actual cigarettes could rise. For the first time since Congress granted it broad powers to regulate tobacco in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration has given a green light to two cigarette introductions. Lorillard's Newport Non-Menthol Gold Box 100s and Newport Non-Menthol Gold Box will launch in the fourth quarter.
"We are proud to be the first company in the industry to receive authorization to begin marketing these new products in the U.S.," said Murray Kessler, Lorillard's chairman, president-CEO, in a statement.
It may not be the last to get the go-ahead. The move is seen as a signal that the FDA will begin ruling on roughly 4,000 requests from tobacco companies. The agency also rejected four applications, but said it cannot say why or who submitted them.
A spokesman said Lorillard will roll out the products with some marketing support, but wouldn't elaborate. The nation's third-largest tobacco company, Lorillard is already the industry's second-biggest spender on print. The company spent $28.9 million promoting its Newport brand in print magazines last year, according to Kantar Media. Measured media accounts for only a portion of Big Tobacco's marketing dollars; marketers have poured money into direct-mail campaigns, in-store promotions and product discounts.
The approval comes at an opportune time for Newport, which accounted for roughly 87% of Lorillard's net sales in 2012. Newport Menthol is the top-selling menthol cigarette in the U.S., but the FDA is considering restrictions or a ban on menthol flavoring.