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Brand Dakota

After the cancellation of Uptown, the Washington Post disclosed RJR plans to market a new brand called Dakota, to be aimed at young, poorly educated, white females. The Dakota revelations drew criticism from Sullivan and other anti-smoking advocates, who again denounced the company for targeting vulnerable populations. The new brand also generated protests from many North and South Dakotans, who formed a group called Dakotans Against Dakota Cigarettes and collected 25,000 signatures on petitions opposing the cigarettes. RJR denies that Dakota is aimed at women, claiming that it rejected the widely publicized marketing plans. RJR spokesperson Didi Witt says, "The cigarette was never meant to be targeted for any market other than adult male and female smokers, particularly Marlboro smokers." RJR did not withdraw the Dakota brand, and it is currently test-marketing Dakotas in Houston and Phoenix.

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