Cigarette advertising to children? Yep. That’s exactly what this was!
The tobacco industry were notorious for targeting children in their advertising and marketing campaigns.
At the time, it was illegal for children to purchase cigarettes themselves and yet it was perfectly legal for the tobacco industry to target children in their advertising.
The idea was that these advertising messages would create positive associations for children so that when they became of age, they were more likely to choose to smoke.
As with most advertising we don’t see the full picture – just happy santa spreading his care-free Christmas cheer while smoking a cigarette. This alludes to the fact that smoking is also carefree and fun and without consequence. A fact that we know is untrue.
I don’t know how they got away with this. What the? Indeed.