Ron Perelman, one of the wealthiest men in America, sits down for his first ever Q&A.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Ron Perelman, Spring 95
(continued from page 8)
Shanken: I assume when you travel outside the United States it's a nonissue.
Perelman: It's a nonissue. The biggest problem is in California because there nobody smokes. No place.
Shanken: So what do you do?
Perelman: I don't smoke.
Shanken: Maybe it's time to buy a restaurant in California.
Perelman: The laws there are stronger for smoking sections and prohibition than anyplace else. There is a real animosity toward smokers amongst the patrons.
Shanken: The crime is that there are more serious and sophisticated and knowledgeable cigar aficionados in L.A. than maybe anywhere else in America. I mean they really love their cigars, and for these people to have so few places to go, has to be frustrating.
Perelman: There are cigar dinners. But it's probably the most health-conscious community in America.
Shanken: Let's move on. You've looked at many different industries, and by owning Revlon, among others, you must be an experienced judge of consumer advertising. Is the cigar industry's advertising of premium cigars up to par?
Perelman: No. I think it's very boring. I think it's much too laid back. I think that it's not of the new generation of smokers yet. I think that will come. Now with the resurgence of interest, I think just by definition you're going to get a better quality marketing program, including advertising. But that has not yet appeared.
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