Iconic chewing tobacco brand Red Man is changing its name and getting rid of its Native American imagery | Economic news

“It’s something we’ve been exploring for a while now” for the Red Man product, said Joe Ackerman, vice president of marketing for Swedish Match, who added that the company was “under no pressure” to perform. change.

“We took a few steps in the process as we assessed where we are with respect to our company values, and where we are in the market and where we are heading in the future,” Ackerman said.

The company researched its customers before making the change, he said.

“We also very quietly engaged the Native American community and what they thought of the process,” Ackerman said. “Once we gathered all of this information, we decided it was in the best interests of the company and its values ​​to proactively engage and move forward with a new name. “

The company said it made no changes to the product itself.

Along with the name change, the Native American image will no longer appear on packaging, according to a company spokesperson.

The decision was welcomed Thursday by representatives of Native American communities in a statement released by the company.

“I commend Swedish Match for retiring the use of ‘Red Man’ as a product name,” Cherokee Nation Senior Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in the company’s statement. “Nationally, we are moving away from the use of derogatory terms and depictions of Native Americans as product mascots because the depictions are stereotypical caricatures, and they do not honor us or reflect how we live and thrive, both as individuals and as unique tribal nations today. .

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