JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 164
Could poor old Santa get any lower than this? Out of all the things he has carried in his sack over the years, Chesterfield Cigarettes may very well be the worst of them. Plus, not only is Santa delivery them as presents, he's decorating the tree with them as well, and hardly acting the camera-shy sort that he is. Chesterfield (Leggett & Morris Tobacco Co.) combined some of the best loved elements of childhood (the ABC's "Always Buy Chesterfield") and Santa Claus to not only convince adults to think of the product as a Gift(ing) Unit, but also to lull children into a sleepy, memory-clouding impression of Chesterfields being somehow good (what with these two primary associations and all). "Chesterfields have all the benefit of Smoking Pleasure (capitalized in the original) "they're givable, acceptable and enjoyable¦" I wonder what they, meant, exactly, by using the word "acceptable"?
I've seen Santa in other embarrassing poses like this in the pages of LIFE magazine for this period: flying through the air in his sleigh loaded down with boxes of cigarettes, placing boxes of them under the tree, stuffing stockings with cartons, and the like. I'm sure that he regrets it now, though.
All sorts of people were pressed into the service of selling tobacco products like thisâsports figures, movie stars, doctors, adventurers; an entire alphabet of personalities and personality types got into the act. A sitting president had never been involved, though a person who would become president was.
Iâm sure Ronald Reagan regretted this ad at some point in his life as well ("beautiful Christmas Car Carton" or not), though I suspect that he wouldâve kept that close to the vest.