- In 1968, Philip Morris launched its Virginia Slims cigarette brand with the slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” The name underscored the pressure on women to be thin, and the slogan associated smoking with the women’s liberation movement. In 1971, the company created the Virginia Slims Women’s Tennis Circuit, telecasts of which circumvented the TV ban on cigarette advertising. Over the next 25 years, athletes as young as 14 were shown playing their matches amid dozens of courtside banners for Virginia Slims.
- By 1985, lung cancer had surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. women, a fact that went virtually unreported in women’s magazines, nearly all of which continued to accept cigarette advertising. Most still do.
Learn more about the targeting of women by the tobacco industry in our exhibition…