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18h UTC; WEDNESDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2013: Before starting for this morning's work at the motel I do for in Winona, Your Correspondent took it upon himself to get some recyclables out of their garbage dumpster ... and one such recyclable discerned thus was a paperboard carton for "Timeless Time" cigarettes, manufactured by the onetime state monopoly Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Corporation out of South Korea and sold in several countries, among them the United States (mostly in cut-price tobacco shops on Native American reservations).

But what struck Your Correspondent in particular about this carton of "Timeless Time" Red 100's was the slogan on same: "Restore Peaceful Mind." Which, come to think of it, sounds like the slogan of some kitschy day spa in some equally campy "shoobie trap" resort of the sort attracting Joe Sixpack types and suchlike somewhat lower on the Stewie Griffin Patent Bar-Skank Ladder--until it turns out that "Restore Peaceful Mind" is qualified by the Surgeon-General's Warning (in this instance, "Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide").

Nonetheless, my overreactive imagination responded with the prospect of such leading into The Shadows' 1962 insturmental hit "Wonderful Land", as if leading into something of a kitschy sort of podcast featuring "New Age" and suchlike music of the sort common to said day spas (and, as it turns out, is Disguised Advertising for said day spa, with the message somehow kept discreet to avoid attracting complaint).

Which, in any event, calls to mind the longtime slogan "It's Toasted" for Lucky Strikes cigarettes, which began with this 1917 advertisement (via Stanford University's website "Not a Cough in a Carload," which illustrated how cigarette advertising sought to hide smoking's dangers from the Great Unwashed Masses for generations):



This same site explains the "secret history" behind that very slogan:
The American Tobacco Company began using the slogan "It's Toasted" for Lucky Strike cigarettes in 1917. "It's toasted" referred to the process of heat curing tobacco leaf as opposed to simply sun drying. Purported to "remove harmful corrosive acids (pungent irritants)" and to "sterilize" tobacco, this process of curing tobacco did not in fact differ widely from methods of other manufacturers.

The slogan, still included in small text on Lucky Strike cartons today, has been included in a variety of Lucky Strike campaigns over the decades, ranging from "Cream of the Crop" (1928-1934) to "Fat Shadow" (1929-1930) to throat referrals (1927-1937). The meaning of the message was elastic -- it was at some times used to indicate better taste, while at others to indicate less throat irritation.

[***]

While the earliest "It's toasted" ads had boasted great taste, by 1927, Lucky had changed the meaning of the slogan to throat protection: "It's toasted. Your throat protection - against irritation - against cough." But by 1955 they were back in the flavor realm, with "It's toasted to taste better!" In 1970, Lucky Strike was again considering ad copy which would compare its toasted cigarettes to delicious toast. An internal industry document reveals a mock-up ad featuring two boxes of Lucky Strike popping out of a toaster under the header "Bon Appetit: It's Toasted to Taste Better".

[***]

Clearly, the slogan has an elasticity of message which has allowed Lucky Strike to make health claims whenever convenient or beneficial. The slogan is included on the side of the current packing of the Lucky Strike carton, which reads, "manufacture includes the Lucky Strike process, It's Toasted."
The which, in any event, didn't exactly sit well with rival Camels, who came out with this advertisement in the mid-1930's to take issue with the subtleties implicit in the very claim "It's Toasted" (but without naming names):



Which, before too long, would be followed on Camels' part with the campaign "It's Fun to be Fooled--But It's More Fun to Know," which exposed the secrets behind famous and well-known circus and magic tricks to reinforce their attack on Lucky Strikes and their "It's Toasted" message. Two examples of the campaign, one in more conventional ad format and the other in comic-strip such (both formats being used), follow:

 


And in any event, the Federal Trade Commission didn't take too kindly to this exercise in "the pot calling the kettle black;" as our source points out:
Of course, Camel's accusation is true to a degree: cigarette advertising does employ many tricks; however, this campaign runs the risk of bringing Camels' own tricks out from behind the curtain. Indeed, this is a case of "the pot calling the kettle black." Over the next decade and beyond, the FTC charged the majority of popular cigarette makers with cease-and-desist orders for false and misleading advertising, including R.J. Reynolds. By 1942, the FTC cited a slurry of Camel's claims as "inaccurate, false, and misleading," including the following: "smoking of Camels aid digestion, fortifies good health, and has been discovered by a famous research laboratory to restore body energy, [.] to keep in athletic condition one should smoke as many Camels as he likes, that Camels helped a racing car driver win a race and golf champion a grueling contest, that Camels would not shorten the wind or irritate the throat but would protect against nerve strain, and asserted that only the choicest tobaccos were used to make Camels". The latter is the most interesting in this case, when the FTC labels false the very claim Camel had boasted as containing "no tricks."
Take that, conspiracist prolefeeders!

In the immortal words of the late John Cameron Swayze
as concluded every broadcast
of the Camel News Caravan (NBC-TV, 1949-1956),
"That's the story; glad we could get together ..."


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