Marlboro man — wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philip Morris & Co. (now Altria) had originally introduced the Marlboro brand as a woman’s cigarette in 1924. Starting in the early 1950s, the cigarette industry began to focus on promoting filtered cigarettes, as a response to the emerging scientific data about harmful effects of smoking. 3 Under the false impression that filtered cigarettes were safer, 4 Marlboro, as well as other brands, started to be sold with filters. However, filtered cigarettes, Marlboro in particular, were considered to be women s cigarettes. 5 During market research in the 1950s, men indicated that while they would consider switching to a filtered cigarette, they were concerned about being seen smoking a cigarette marketed to women. 6

The repositioning of Marlboro as a men’s cigarette was handled by Chicago advertiser Leo Burnett. Most filtered cigarette advertising sought to make claims about the technology behind the filter through the use of complex terminology and scientific claims regarding the filter, the cigarette industry wanted to ease fears about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking through risk reduction. However, Leo Burnett decided to address the growing fears through an entirely different approach creating ads completely void of health concerns or health claims of the filtered cigarette. Burnett felt that making claims about the effectiveness of filters furthered concerns of the long term effects of smoking. Thus, refusing to respond to health claims matched the emergent, masculine image of the New Marlboro. citation needed

The proposed campaign was to present a lineup of manly figures sea captains, weightlifters, war correspondents, construction workers, etc. The cowboy was to have been the first in this series. 6 Burnett’s inspiration for the exceedingly masculine «Marlboro Man» icon came in 1949 from an issue of LIFE magazine, whose photograph (shot by Leonard McCombe) and story of Texas cowboy Clarence Hailey Long caught his attention. 7 Within a year, Marlboro’s market share rose from less than one percent to the fourth best selling brand. This convinced Philip Morris to drop the lineup of manly figures and stick with the cowboy. 6

Using another approach to expand the Marlboro Man market base, Philip Morris felt the prime market was post adolescent kids who were just beginning to smoke as a way of declaring their independence from their parents. 8

When the new Marlboro Country theme opened in late 1963, the actors utilized as Marlboro Man were replaced, for the most part, with real working cowboys. «In 1963, at the 6 6 6 6 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, they discovered Carl «Big un» Bradley. He was the first real cowboy they used, and from then on the lead Marlboro men were real cowboys, rodeo riders, stuntmen.» 9 10 Another of this new breed of real cowboys was Max Bryan «Turk» Robinson, of Hugo, Oklahoma Turk says that he was recruited for the role while at a rodeo simply standing around behind the chutes, as was the custom for cowboys who had not yet ridden their event. It took only a few years for the results to register. By 1972, the new Marlboro Man would have had so much market appeal that Marlboro cigarettes were catapulted to the top of the tobacco industry. citation needed

Finding the Marlboro Man edit

Initially, commercials involving the Marlboro Man featured paid models, such as William Thourlby, 11 pretending to carry out cowboy tasks. However, Burnett felt that the commercials lacked authenticity, as it was pretty apparent that the subjects were not real cowboys and did not have the desired rugged look. One of the finest was a non smoking rodeo cowboy, Max Bryan «Turk» Robinson, who was recruited at a rodeo. (Robinson lives in Hugo, Oklahoma and is alive and well as of February 2, 2014.) Leo Burnett was not satisfied with the cowboy actors found. Broadway and MGM movie actor Christian Haren won the role as the first Marlboro Man in the early 1960s as he looked the part. Burnett then came across Darrell Winfield, who worked on a ranch. Leo Burnett s creative director was awed when he first saw Winfield I had seen cowboys, but I had never seen one that just really, like, he sort of scared the hell out of me (as he was so much a real cowboy). Winfield s immediate authenticity led to his 20 year run as the Marlboro Man, which lasted until the late 1980s. Upon Winfield s retirement, Philip Morris reportedly spent $300 million searching for a new Marlboro Man. 12

After appearing as the Marlboro Man in 1987 advertising, former rodeo cowboy Brad Johnson landed a lead role in Steven Spielberg’s feature film Always (1989), with Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss. 13

Results edit

The use of the Marlboro Man campaign had very significant and immediate effects on sales. In 1955, when the Marlboro Man campaign was started, sales were at $5 billion. By 1957, sales were at $20 billion, representing a 300% increase within two years. Philip Morris easily overcame growing health concerns through the Marlboro Man campaign, highlighting the success as well as the tobacco industry s strong ability to use mass marketing to influence consumers. 14

The immediate success of the Marlboro Man campaign led to heavy imitation. Old Golds adopted the tagline marking it a cigarette for independent thinkers». Chesterfield depicted cowboy and other masculine occupations to match their tagline Men of America smoke Chesterfields. 15

Controversy edit

Four men who claimed to have appeared in Marlboro related advertisements Wayne McLaren, David McLean, Dick Hammer and Eric Lawson 16 died of smoking related diseases, thus earning Marlboro cigarettes, specifically Marlboro Reds, the nickname «Cowboy killers». 17 McLaren testified in favor of anti smoking legislation at the age of 51. During the time of McLaren’s anti smoking activism, Philip Morris denied that McLaren ever appeared in a Marlboro ad, a position it later amended to maintain that while he did appear in ads, he was not the Marlboro Man Winfield held that title. In response, McLaren produced an affidavit from a talent agency that had represented him, along with a pay check stub, asserting he had been paid for work on a «Marlboro print» job. 18 McLaren died before his 52nd birthday in 1992. 19 20

Eric Lawson, the fourth man to portray the smoking cowboy, who appeared in Marlboro print ads from 1978 to 1981, died at the age of 72 on January 10, 2014, of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. A smoker since age 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro Man, and also in an Entertainment Tonight segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking. 21

There is also a fifth claimant to the Marlboro Man title. In The Cowboy and His Elephant, written by Malcolm MacPherson, which is ostensibly a biography of Norris and mainly focuses on his raising an elephant on his ranch, MacPherson describes how Bob Norris came to be photographed for Life magazine and become the Marlboro Man for the next 12 years (pp. 63 67). The back cover to the book also cites Norris as the Marlboro Man.

Decline edit

In many countries, the Marlboro Man is an icon of the past due to increasing pressure on tobacco advertising for health reasons, especially where the practice of smoking appears to be celebrated or glorified. The deaths described above may also have made it more difficult to use the campaign without attracting negative comment. The Marlboro Man image continued until recently, at least in countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic. 22 It still continues in Japan (on tobacco vending machines, for example), where smoking is widespread in the male population.

Death in the West edit

Death in the West, a Thames Television documentary, 23 is an expos of the cigarette industry that aired on British television in 1976 and exposes the myth of the Marlboro Man. 24 In its March/April 1996 issue, Mother Jones said of Death in the West «It is one of the most powerful ant
i smoking films ever made. You will never see it.» 25 The second sentence refers to the fact that Philip Morris sued the filmmakers, and in a 1979 secret settlement all copies were suppressed. 26 However, in 1983, Professor Stanton A. Glantz released the film and San Francisco’s then NBC affiliate KRON TV aired the documentary in 1982. Since then it has been seen around the world, citation needed

The California Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, in cooperation with the Risk and Youth Smoking Project Lawrence Hall of Science University of California, Berkeley, created a manual to accompany the film, titled «A Curriculum for Death in the West». 27 The first two paragraphs of the Introduction read

The California Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation is pleased to provide this booklet containing a self contained curriculum for upper elementary and junior high school students to supplement the viewing of «Death in the West.» Considered by many to be the most powerful anti smoking documentary ever made, «Death in the West» contrasts the advertising image of the «Marlboro Man» with the reality of six American cowboys dying of cigarette related illnesses. The film, produced in England in 1976 and later suppressed by the Philip Morris Company, makers of Marlboro cigarattes, illustrates the intrinsically false nature of cigarette advertising. It makes the Marlboro Man less attractive.

The «Death in the West» Curriculum is designed to maximize the educational and emotional impact of seeing the documentary. The curriculum is based on a comprehensive smoking prevention program created and tested by the Risk and Youth Smoking Project of the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley. The activities included here were developed in classrooms throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and adapted specifically for use with the airing of «Death in the West» by KRON TV of San Francisco.

NBC Monitor produced an investigative TV report titled Death in the West (June 18, 1983), which is accessible at the Internet Archive. 28

In popular culture edit Artwork edit

Artist Richard Prince’s series known as the Cowboys (produced from 1980 to 1992 and ongoing) is his most famous group of appropriated rephotographs. Taken from Marlboro cigarette advertisements of the Marlboro Man, they represent an idealized figure of American masculinity while questioning the authenticity of media images. citation needed

Film edit

The Marlboro Man was portrayed by Don Johnson in the film Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991). Although the name «Marlboro Man» was used, like several other products that shared the same name as one of the characters, the company did not sponsor or endorse the film itself.

In the Coen brothers’ 1996 movie Fargo (1996), a witness relates that the character played by Peter Stormare resembles the Marlboro man, but she might just be saying that «because he smoked a lot of Marlboros».

Sam Elliott plays Lorne Lutch, a cancer stricken former Marlboro Man in Thank You for Smoking (2005).

Literature edit

In Tony Kushner’s play Angels in America (1993), the character Prior despairs of his former lover’s current boyfriend, Joe, and Joe’s handsome, masculine appearance, declaring «He’s the Marlboro Man, he made me feel beyond Nelly…»

Music edit

The band Alabama refers to the Marlboro Man in their song «Cheap Seats» «We sit below the Marlboro man, above the right field wall.»

A line in Jason Aldean’s song «Dirt Road Anthem» mentions the Marlboro Man «King in the can and the Marlboro Man, Jack ‘n Jim were a few good men.»

The last line of the Paula Cole song «Where Have All the Cowboys Gone» asks «Where is my Marlboro Man? Where is his shiny gun?»

Danish rock band D A D sings about the iconic Marlboro Man in their song «Marlboro Man».

The band Harvey Danger refer to the Marlboro Man in their song «Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo» «The Marlboro Man died of cancer, and he wasn’t a rocket scientist when he was healthy.»

A line in the second verse of the Rage Against the Machine song «People of the Sun» reads «Your spine cracked for tobacco, I’m the Marlboro Man».

Television edit

In My Name Is Earl, season 1, episode 12 («O Karma, Where Art Thou?»), Earl is referred to as «Marlboro Man» at a fast food restaurant, where he is working to make up for an item on his list, by his boss (played by Jon Favreau).

In the Seinfeld episode «The Abstinence», Cosmo Kramer sues a tobacco company but settles out of court. His settlement is the placement of his face as that of the Marlboro Man’s on a billboard in Times Square.

In The Good Wife season 1, episode 15 («Bang»), Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) remarks about ballistics expert Kurt McVeigh (guest star Gary Cole) when she first meets him, due to his cowboy appearance and manners «I think I have just been visited by the Marlboro Man…»

In The Long Goodbye, the character of Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is referred to as «the Marlboro Man» for his near constant chain smoking by alcoholic novelist Roger Wade (Sterling Hayden).

See also edit

  • Joe Camel

Robert Gunner was also the Marlboro Man

References edit

Marlboro cannabis cigarettes are in production — sensi seeds

On Tuesday the 21st of January the news went viral that Philip Morris revealed that they will soon launch a new range of Marlboro cannabis cigarettes. The news heralded the arrival of ‘Marlboro M , the product with which Philip Morris want to participate in the rapidly growing North American cannabis industry. Apparently this news item is a hoax. But is this a hoax that is almost too good to be false?

Maybe this is how the Marlboro M package will look like.

The story was originally posted by the satirical website Abril Uno (Spanish for April 1, also known as April Fool’s Day). The article reveals that the Vice President of Marketing for Philip Morris, Serafin Norcik, clarified this week that the company has already been looking at the possibilities for entering the cannabis market for a few years, and that this process gained momentum once Colorado and Washington made it known that they were legalizing recreational (as well as medicinal) use of cannabis. The result would be Marlboro M cannabis cigarettes which will be sold in official cannabis retail points in Colorado and (later this year) also in Washington, according to this fake story. But looking at the history of the ‘Big Tabacco’, as this billion euro industry is also named, this story is actually not far from reality.

To say that Philip Morris has been looking at the cannabis market for a few years is actually true. In fact, they have been following the market for a lot longer than just a few years. In 1993 and 1994, strong rumours were already circulating that the parent company of Marlboro was considering cannabis cigarettes. Although the company vehemently denied this, they did make an attempt to trademark the name Marley , which was successful in France despite protests from Rita Marley and the estate of her late husband.

It s high time for a Marley! apparently has nothing to do with Bob

Philip Morris stated that the name had nothing to do with the famous singer and cannabis legend Bob Marley. Even after a potential slogan (which Philip Morris had also attempted to trademark) was leaked It s high time for a Marley! a PM spokesman gave a laconic reaction I can assure you that my principals did not adopt and register the mark ‘Marley’ with a Bob Marley in mind, or with any other Marley, like the famous Dickens character by that surname. Consumers just would not associate a ‘Marley’ tobacco product with Bob Marley. A disingenuous reaction, especially given that at the same moment, cannabis legalization was a frequently discussed topic in Europe. That Marley is, marketing wise, an interesting name for a company wanting to participate in the cannabis industry needs no explanation.

Marijuana street jargon names trademarked since 1976

Rita Marley performing during the High Times Cannabis Cup.

The interest of Big Tobacco in cannabis, actually goes much further back in time. From the report of a brainstorming session organized in 1976 by the Lorillard Tobacco Companies (who manufacture, among others, Kent cigarettes) it is clear that the business was already exploring the possibilities concerning cannabis and cigarettes. In the same year, a report was commissioned by Brown & Williamson (who produce Barclay and other cigarettes) which also covered cannabis. What is also remarkable about this almost 40 year old document is the revelation on pages 66 and 67 that various tobacco firms had already trademarked product names taken directly from marijuana street jargon , which were being used on little known products but could be switched to cannabis products if and when the opportunity arose to market them legally.

It seems more than likely that the tobacco industry has long been concerned with the analysis of the cannabis market. As a result, they are so well prepared that releasing a cannabis cigarette brand is in line with the expectations. So, there is a realistic chance that this hoax will become reality some day soon.