Sunday, December 7, 2014

WWII JAMA Ads: How Times Have Changed


A recent article in Medscape Nurses contained a fascinating slide show of WWII era ads targeting physicians published in JAMA. It includes ads for everything from amphetamines to butter, but I thought that the tobacco industry's ads were of particular interest. You can see them all here, on the Medscape Nurses site, which requires registration but is free. Text in italics are quotes from the slideshow.

I wonder what kind of current advertising will cause us to shake our heads in amazement a few decades from now?

Oh, my gosh. This one is spot on: tobacco certainly doesn't cure anything.

The rest of the copy for this spot claims that "Philip Morris has an advantage scientifically demonstrable...Tests showed that when smokers changed to Philip Morris, every case of irritation of the nose and throat due to smoking cleared completely."

"When there's a job to do, he does it. A few winks of sleep...a few puffs of a cigarette...and he's back at that job again..."

"We cure tobacco...not people!"
Kool invited physicians to write the company a note on their office stationery. In return, docs would receive a complementary pack of cigarettes.

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