MalczykWatching for a few months I'm surprised there wasn't a mention on here about the Undiscovered contest as well as the Lifted Vice program being funded by Swedish Match, a tobacco company from Sweden .. Snus is an addictive tobacco product that has been present in skiing for a while (racers, Euros, they even had sponsored athletes at one point) so this is nothing new but they seem to be going in very heavy here again.
The contest and ads seem to follow the rules of the FDA. The advertising is directly pointed at the NS community which you can speculate has a lot of 'of age' users but seems to have a lot of underage members ripe for the influencing with cool videos, ads, social, editorial chatter about the videos and the like.
This type of advertising is heavily regulated in many other places and the same can be said for alcohol & energy drink ads but this discussion is about tobacco. So discuss! and anyone with inside insight are welcome to comment.
So this stuff is highly regulated, which is interesting. I was involved in this pitch, and there's been a few protections put in place.
1) 3rd party data has verified that 91% of Newschoolers traffic is above the age of 18. The very young skiers are much more fragmented and reached in different places than the youth of yesterday. Loads of them are hanging out on weird social networks, apps, or fragmented around the internet. Much longer discussion, however as NS has aged our community that was 12 when they started are now as old as 28.
2) We are using a brand new behavioral targeting system, which uses 3rd party data to assess the age of a user, and display them targeted ads. This is in place for this campaign, and from what the company that provides this service tells us, its quite accurate. Its the same stuff that is used widely across the internet to handle this type of ad.
These facts together make me feel like we've put in an enormous amount of effort to make sure that this is appropriate for the legal audience. I personally think its up to a person what they want to do, and if laws are followed, kids aren't targeted then its OK.
I mean I would extend the question to you as well - when athletes on your team like Max Hill win an award for Best Smoking
, do you feel that athlete should curtail their behavior because there are potentially some kids watching?
I'd be super interested in how you handle something like this as a sponsor, because as we're talking about this type of issue its great to really open it up.