WASHINGTONTobacco companies, which were banned from touting their products on billboards last year, have increased their advertising at point-of-sale locations, such as convenience stores, according to a new study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In-store advertising was present in 80% of the stores visited, an increase of 27% over the display ads present prior to the billboard ban. Exterior advertising was observed at 60% of the stores, an increase of 22%. Tobacco promotions were available at 52% of stores visited after the ban, an increase of 65%.
The shift in advertising expenditure is likely to mean that any intended effect of the billboard advertising banas well as other advertising restrictionswill not be fully realized, said lead researcher Frank Chaloupka, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago.