Big Tobacco in the Big Apple
How New York City Became the Heart of the Tobacco Industry
…and Anti Smoking Activism
Radio and Television Commercials
Tobacco Advertising on TV and Radio Created by New York City Advertising Agencies (0:56)
One of the most memorable weekends, I ever had of New York growing up, was when I was about nine, my folks and I went to the Waldorf Astoria for the weekend. Literally driving in from Long Island and staying at the world’s most glamorous hotel and on saturday night, they were about to go to a live TV show of Herb Shriners Two for the Money. I insisted, I wasn’t going to have a babysitter for that one, and they snuck me into the telecast and of course, I was exposed to commercials for old gold cigarettes.
This is the way it was in New York from the 1930s through the 1960s, the most popular radio and TV shows in New York were sponsored by cigarette companies. The most popular TV show by far was I Love Lucy sponsored by Philip Morris with commercials woven right into the plot.
Sit back and watch in disbelief and stunned horror, but a kind of odd amusement, at the radio and TV commercials from the 1930s through the 1960s.