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The Rise of the Tobacco Industry Tapping Into New Markets 1900-1950.

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Presentation on theme: "The Rise of the Tobacco Industry Tapping Into New Markets 1900-1950."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Rise of the Tobacco Industry Tapping Into New Markets 1900-1950

2 How It All Started…  In the early 1900’s, less than 1% of American adults regularly smoked cigarettes.  By 1950, 50% of American adults were smoking.  That is HALF the adult population picking up smoking in only 50 years!

3 How Did That Happen?  How did the industry manage to increase its consumer base so dramatically in such a short period of time?

4 The Tobacco Industry Tapped Into New Markets Specifically :  Soldiers  Women

5 Tobacco Industry and the Military  American soldiers first received tobacco rations (0.4 oz. with 10 cigarette papers) in World War I.  When the War Department approved the rations, "a wave of joy swept through the American Army."

6  In World War I, wounded soldiers were allowed to smoke while being operated on.  An army surgeon described the calming effect of cigarettes: "Wonderful. As soon as the lads take their first whiff, they seem eased and relieved of their agony."

7  The use of cigarettes exploded during World War I (1914-1918), where cigarettes were called the "soldier's smoke."

8 A Generation Addicted  Virtually, an entire generation of men returned from WWI addicted to tobacco industry products.  Free cigarettes in their rations committed the soldiers to a lifetime of addiction.  Tobacco companies sent millions of cigarettes to the soldiers for free, and when these soldiers came home, the companies had a steady stream of loyal customers.

9 World War II  During World War II (1939-1945), cigarette sales were at an all time high  Cigarettes were sold at military stores tax-free for usually a nickel a pack, and were distributed free in overseas areas.

10 Tobacco Industry and Women  Prior to the beginning of the 20th century, smoking was not a socially acceptable practice for men or women.  Smoking was slowly promoted as a symbol of emancipation and equality for women.

11  Advertising directed specifically to women was not acceptable until the late 1920s.  Prior to that time, social, cultural, and legal pressures limited a woman's ability to smoke and, as a result, few did.  In 1923, women consumed only 5% of all cigarettes sold.  By 1929, the number had grown to 12%. It jumped to 18% by 1933.

12 How Did That Happen?  Aggressive marketing to women by tobacco companies.  The Industry recognized that they could roughly double their consumer-base if women used, and became addicted to, their products.

13 Public Relations to the Rescue  The relationship between tobacco companies and Public Relations firms goes back to the early 20 th Century.  The tobacco companies started using PR's psychological marketing skills to first 'hook' women to their drug.

14 The Pioneer… Edward Bernays  Edward Bernays, a leading PR specialist in the 1920s, staged a legendary publicity event that is still taught as an example in PR schools.  He hired beautiful fashion models to march in New York's prominent Easter parade, each waving a lit cigarette and wearing a banner proclaiming it a "torch of liberty."  Bernays made sure that publicity photos of his smoking models appeared world-wide.

15 Timely Tactics…  The companies appealed to the idea of freedom and liberation at a time when women were fighting for equal rights.  Female celebrities were used to endorse cigarette brands, and appeared in movies, smoking, in an effort to normalize and glamorize the use of cigarettes by women

16 Regrets…  To his credit, an older Bernays expressed regret at his work, saying that if he had known of the dangers of tobacco, he would have refused the account.

17 The Result…  During the first half of the 20 th Century, soldiers and women were heavily targeted by tobacco companies.  Marketing efforts by the tobacco industry succeeded in addicting HALF the adult population of the U.S. by 1950.  Smoking cigarettes became socially acceptable for both men and women.

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