This essay explores the mutually beneficial commercial collaborations between the tobacco companies

1700 WordsApr 23, 20197 Pages
This essay explores the mutually beneficial commercial collaborations between the tobacco companies and major motion picture studios from the late 1920s through the 1940s. Smoking in movies is associated with adolescent and young adult smoking initiation. Public health efforts to eliminate smoking from films accessible to youth have been countered by defenders of the status quo, who associate tobacco imagery in “classic” movies with artistry and nostalgia. Both the entertainment and tobacco industries recognised the high value of promotion of tobacco through entertainment media. Each company hired aggressive product placement firms to represent its interests in Hollywood. These firms placed products and tobacco signage in positive…show more content…
Product and brand exposure in films is the result of paid product placement, the provision of free products as props, or personal use by actors. Product placement implies a mutually beneficial relationship between the filmmaker and the manufacturer of the product. Initial contact may be made by the filmmaker seeking to reduce costs, increase income, and provide realism or it may be made by product placement firms seeking product exposure for companies they represent. Product placement firms have evolved over the last two decades to broker relationships between filmmakers and corporations. The usual procedure is for the product placement firm to receive scripts in advance of production from filmmakers and review the scripts for the possible use of products they represent. Normally this involves substituting a specific brand for a generic brand—that is, instead of “John meets Mary at a coffeehouse”, John might meet Mary at Curt's Coffee. The integrity of the script is maintained, a touch of realism is provided, the filmmaker has an existing location for filming, and Curt's Coffee receives extensive free exposure. The film cast and crew may also receive free lattes and muffins and possibly Curt's Coffee mugs. The product placement firm receives its fee for making the placement, and everyone connected with making the film wins. While the tobacco industry has routinely denied active involvement in
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