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Smoking 'em out 

When Philip Morris stages its annual adventure fest in southern Utah for young overseas smokers, the party is strictly private.
Jump to full article: Los Angeles Times, 2004-11-23
Author: Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer

Intro:

So begins the third day of the 2004 Adventure Team, a 12-day hiking, four-wheeling and canyoneering extravaganza on Utah's public lands and one of Philip Morris International's most secretive — and successful — Marlboro promotions.

Forty-two young men and women from Europe, Latin America and Asia, selected from more than 1 million applicants, are playing cowboy at the company's expense. (Because of legal constraints, Americans cannot participate.)

All contestants undergo a complex application process, each handing over their name, address and personal details about where they shop, what music they listen to and what they smoke. As more and more countries restrict tobacco advertising, the data allow the company to talk directly to its customers.

Marlboro marketers and outdoorsy camps — doubling as focus groups — whittled applicants down to a busload. The winners were flown in September to Moab, where Philip Morris showered them with fleece, leather and custom-made cowboy hats. . . .

At the front gate, standing on public land, the reporter starts asking questions.

"Sir, the public has a right to know how Utah's public lands are used to promote cigarettes … " . . .

The tobacco invasion of Utah began in Chicago in 1962.

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Quotes from this article:

You know what's real Marlboro Country? The graveyard.
Utah cowboy Harley Bates, who puts up Marlboro Adventure Team members on his private ranch.

America is Marlboro Country. There is no other place that is so free.
Philip Morris executive François Moreillon, on the company's Marlboro Adventure Team promotion on Utah's public lands.

We want the winners to experience the freedom of America. And we find this is easiest when Americans are not part of the event.
Philip Morris executive François Moreillon, on the company's Marlboro Adventure Team promotion on Utah's public lands.