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A Brief History of Marketing Research and press coverage in the early 1950s were drawing a link between smoking and cancer. Reader's Digest's damning 1952 story: "Cancer by the Carton." Cigarette industry response? It rolled out filtered cigarettes, which many consumers perceived to be safer than nonfiltered smokes. And the industry created a PR smokescreen: Cigarette makers hired Hill Knowlton and formed the Tobacco Industry Research Committee, initially housed in the public relations agency's office. The committee in January 1954 ran a newspaper ad disputing "a theory that cigaret smoking is in some way linked with lung cancer." Hill Knowlton continued on the tobacco industry's payroll for decades to come. Philip Morris had sold Marlboro since 1924 as, Burnett wrote, a nonfilter "fancy smoke for dudes and women." New Marlboro would be a filter smoke for the masses. Burnett noted filter cigarette sales had tripled "in a year marked by widespread publicity on the possible harmful effects of cigarette smoking." He wrote: "You say to yourself: 'Hmmm, people are afraid smoking cigarettes may harm them. Then all we have to do is tell them that our filter makes cigarette smoking safe and we can lean back and watch the money roll in.'" But he cautioned against that product positioning, advising Philip Morris to emphasize the flavor of Marlboro. To counter filter cigarettes' "slightly effeminate" image, Marlboro ads showed cowboys and "regular guys." Marlboro in 1962 settled on the cowboy as its exclusive image. The brand went on to be the world's No. 1 selling cigarette. Charles Van Doren, a big winner on the quiz show "Twenty One," admitted at a congressional hearing that he had been coached on questions. Further disclosures revealed rigging had infected other quiz shows, including "The $64,000 Question," on which Revlon founder Charles Revson determined the fates of contestants. The scandal changed TV advertising. Previously, a single advertiser would own and sponsor a show, but networks took control of programming, breaking airtime into 30 second spots sold to multiple advertisers. Ad Age wrote: "Interpublic, the new corporate umbrella, will provide the affiliate companies with management and financial guidance and central services such as personnel and accounting." The new structure set the stage for Interpublic's 1960s buying spree. But Harper had presaged the move when McCann bought Marschalk in 1954, giving him two agency brands. And so began tobacco's decades long decline. Cigarette per capita consumption peaked in 1963, the eve of the January 1964 report. In 1965, Congress passed the Cigarette Labeling Advertising Act, requiring tobacco firms to put health warnings on cigarette packs. Major airlines in 1967 stopped passing out cigarettes during flights. Cigarette broadcast advertising was banned in 1971. In 1964, tobacco companies accounted for seven of the nation's 100 largest advertisers. In 2006, for the first time, not a single tobacco company appeared in Ad Age's ranking of the top 100 ad spenders. The agency drew attention with its work for Braniff and Philip Morris' Benson Hedges. Its Alka Seltzer ads are part of advertising lore: "Plop plop, fizz fizz," "Try it, you'll like it" and "I can't believe I ate the whole thing."The debut of the Super Bowl. The bowl game was part of the merger plan of the National Football League and rival American Football League. The first bowl was broadcast on two networks: CBS (which had rights for NFL games) and NBC (the AFL network). The two telecasts collectively drew the biggest ever audience for a sports TV broadcast; CBS had 26.75 million viewers and NBC had 24.43 million, according to Nielsen.

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