‘For your throat’s sake smoke’ ?!?

22 Aug

Craven ‘A’ cigarettes

While walking along Brixton Road one day I spotted this striking cigarette advert. The brand name had faded, but after doing a bit of research it turns out this advert is for Craven ‘A’ cigarettes, which were apparently extremely popular in the Second World War with soldiers.  Smoking adverts seem so unusual now because they have been banned in the UK, officially, since 2002, but they were once commonplace .

Craven 'A' cigarettes - Brixton Road

But I found the strap line most startling ‘For your throat’s sake’ (?!?!) The idea of selling cigarettes on that premise seems crazy today, but it seems that in fact this kind of advertising for cigarettes was quite normal. Other slogans for Craven ‘A’ included “Will not affect your throat”. It would seem Craven ‘A’ made this claim based on the unique ‘cork-tip’ mentioned in the billing.

 Craven 'A' advert (year: unknown)

The line taken with much of smoking advertising was its apparent health benefits. Before the adverse effects of smoking were discovered in the 1960s adverts regularly featured people playing sports, such as the sailor above, with a cigarette in mouth. They were also endorsed by sportsmen (and vice versa), as being a way to clear the airways, and giving the user a new lease of life!

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