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Cigarette Advertising Essay example

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Truth About Cigarette Advertising

Two lithe, tanned bodies lazily languish near a limpid river. The heads of the two persons are thrown back in poses of a supremely confident nature. Their facial features, though, are indistinguishable amidst the ephemeral haze which envelops them. Curiosity piqued and intently surveying the scene, one then notices the cigarettes dangling from the fingers of the pair. Advertisements such as this are now ubiquitous to the point of annoyance. These attempts to entice consumers to buy cigarettes are not simply trumped up exaggerations, as is the case with other products. Cigarette companies market their products with blatant lies. No one is shown with yellowed teeth or suffering from a hacking cough. Instead, smokers are always pictured as being in the pink of health. More alarmingly, smokers and smoking are perceived as being desirable. This perception has seemingly permeated every facet of popular culture. The sad truth today is—cigarettes are cool!
More overt instances of cigarette companies attempting to marry their products with images having positive connotations occurred in the first half of the twentieth century. Since then, however, the marketing juggernauts of these organizations have become more adept at promoting their brands in nearly every sphere of public life. In the earlier times though, the principal mode of product placement was via magazines. Here are two such magazine advertisements.

Kool magazine advertisement circa 1940



Camels magazine advertisement – circa 1950

In the first picture, which was put out during the Second World War, cigarettes are linked with the badges of the United States Armed Forces. Here, Kool attempts to ride the wave of support for Americ...


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...g—turning all of us into potential cigarette addicts. I am of the firm opinion that legislature should be passed which prevents these companies from advertising in certain fields, particularly those pertaining to healthy pursuits such as sports. But, then again, these laws would have to be passed by many people who sit on the boards of, or had election campaigns funded by, cigarette companies. Those changes don’t seem too likely, do they?



Works Cited

“Cigarettes” Wikipedia Foundation Inc.1 Sep. 2006.

Crary, David. “Tobacco giants wage fight against state anti-smoking measures.”
Associated Press 13 Oct. 2006

Haralambos, Michael. Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. 3rd ed. London:
HarperCollins, 1991.

Nocera, Joe. “If It's Good for Philip Morris, Can It Also Be Good for Public Health?”
New York Times 18 June. 2006: B46.


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