cigarettes advertising in USA

The Virginia Slims cigarette brand marketed to women with the slogan "You've come a long way, baby!" from the early 1970s until the late 1990s.

The ad seen here is from 1978.
The Virginia Slims cigarette brand marketed to women with the slogan "You've come a long way, baby!" from the early 1970s until the late 1990s.

The ad seen here is from 1978.

In the United States, in the 1950s and 1960s, cigarette brands were frequently sponsors of television shows—most notably shows such as To Tell the

Truth and I've Got a Secret. One of the most famous television jingles of the era came from an advertisement for Winston cigarettes. The slogan

"Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!" proved to be catchy, and is still quoted today. Another popular slogan from the 1960s was "Us

Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch!," which was used to advertise Tareyton cigarettes.

In June 1967, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that programs broadcast on a television station that discussed smoking and health were

insufficient to offset the effects of paid advertisements that were broadcast for a five to ten minutes each day. "We hold that the fairness

doctrine is applicable to such advertisements" the Commission said. The FCC decision, upheld by the courts, essentially required television

stations to air anti-smoking advertisements at no cost to the organisations providing such advertisements.

In April 1970, Congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banning the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio starting on

January 2, 1971. The Virginia Slims brand was in the last commercial shown, with "a 60-second revue from flapper to Female Lib", shown at 11:59

p.m. on January 1 during a break on The Tonight Show .

Smokeless tobacco ads, on the other hand, remained on the air until a ban took effect on August 28, 1986

After 1971, most tobacco advertising was done in magazines, newspapers and on billboards. Since the introduction of the Federal Cigarette

Labelling and Advertising Act all packaging and advertisements must display a health warning from the Surgeon General. In November 2003, tobacco

companies and magazine publishers agreed to cease the placement of advertisements in school library editions of four magazines with a large group

of young readers (Time, People, Sports Illustrated and Newsweek).

The first known advertisement was for the snuff and tobacco products of P. Lorillard and Company and was placed in the New York daily paper in

1789. Advertising was an emerging concept, and tobacco-related adverts were not seen as any different to those for other products—their negative

impact on health was unknown at the time. Local and regional newspapers were used because of the small-scale production and transportation of

these goods. The first real brand name to become known on a bigger scale was "Bull Durham" which emerged in 1868, with the advertising placing the

emphasis on how easy it was "to roll your own".

The development of colour lithography in the late 1870s allowed the companies to create attractive images to better present their products. This

led to the printing of pictures onto the cigarette cards, previously only used to stiffen the packaging but now turned into an early marketing


Billboards are a major venue of cigarette advertising (10% of Michigan billboards advertise alcohol and tobacco, according to the Detroit Free

Press). They made the news when, in the tobacco settlement of 1999, all cigarette billboards were replaced with anti-smoking messages. In a parody

of the Marlboro Man, some billboards depicted cowboys riding on ranches with slogans like "Bob, I miss my lung".

America's first regular television news programme, Camel News Caravan, was sponsored by Camel Cigarettes and featured an ashtray on the desk in

front of the newscaster and the Camel logo behind him. The show ran from 1949 to 1956.