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By Published on .

Philip Morris USA will back the national launch in January of its new Marlboro Ultra Lights with print ads themed "The spirit of Marlboro in an ultralow-tar cigarette."

The rollout marks the introduction of the first Marlboro brand extension since 1991's Marlboro Medium.

Ellen Merlo, Philip Morris VP-corporate affairs, said the ad strategy and spending will be commensurate with a line extension rather than a major national launch. The theme will be similar to what has been running in test markets; the product was first introduced in Indianapolis but later moved into Oregon, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, plus Seattle (AA, April 22, '96).

Currently, only point-of-purchase materials from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, are being used in the test markets.

Earlier, print ads were used in those areas.

"Some distributors were pressing us to get it out" sooner rather than later, Ms. Merlo said of the timing. "It's been such a good product, it's been difficult to control and limit distribution."

Marlboro is the last of Philip Morris' big brands to introduce an ultralight version, which contains 6 milligrams of tar and .05 milligram nicotine.


R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., meanwhile, introduced a new twist to its "No bull" Winston campaign. "You have to appreciate authenticity in all its forms" is the headline in the new effort for Winston that shows a paunchy middle-age man in T-shirt, dated bermuda shorts and slippers on his front stoop. The spread includes a new, elliptical red Winston logo with 1950s-style flair.

The ads were created by Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C.

The wry ad takes the next step past "No bull," a campaign marked with strong statements, intrusive large type and an in-your-face positioning, playing less

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