Since the first explorers landed in America, tobacco has played a significant role in our history, making fortunes for tobacco farmers and manufacturers. To increase profits, advertising has been used since the beginning, with all manner of images utilized on the labels to lure target markets. From George Washington to animals, to provocative women, these campaigns displayed it all.
The first known advertisement in the United States was for snuff and tobacco products of P. Lorillard and Company, placed in the New York Daily newspaper in 1789. At that time, advertising was an emerging concept, and local and regional newspapers were used because of the small-scale production and transportation of products. The first brand name to become known on a bigger scale was “Bull Durham,” which emerged in 1868, with advertising emphasizing how easy it was “to roll your own.” In many cases, the ads were so provocative, colorful, or interesting that they were displayed upon saloons’ walls.
Advertising soon moved to magazines, radio, and eventually, to television. However, as tobacco risks became better known, the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio was banned in 1971. Advertisers then moved to magazines, newspapers, billboards, and sports sponsorships. All are still allowed, with various restrictions.