In the United States, in the 1950s and 1960s, cigarette brands were frequently sponsors of television programmes.The I Love Lucy show which started in 1951 proved no exception and was sponsored by the Philip Morris Cigarette Company.
The stars of the show, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, were expected to help promote various company products.
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Advertising of this sort was very much the norm in the 1950’s and little or no regard was given to any possible health hazzards. Very often, in fact, the supposed health benefits were being promoted instead. Cigarette smoking was considered highly fashionable way back then, not to mention extremely lucrative for the tobacco companies.
Cigarette advertising on TV was banned in the USA in 1971. Italy led the way in 1962, the United Kingdom in 1965 and Australia in 1976.