02 March 2012

Tobacco Targets Women

Father of Spin by Larry Tye, 1998, Excerpts

In 1928, Bernays began working for George Hill, head of the American Tobacco Company, which made America’s fastest-growing brand of cigarettes, Lucky Strikes. Hill was obsessed by the prospect of winning over the large potential female market for Luckies. “It will be like opening a new gold mine right in our front yard.”

Bernays had become the acknowledged master of accentuating trends and capitalizing on them for his clients, a process he termed “crystallizing public opinion.” And during his eight-year association with the tobacco tycoon, he would make clear his willingness to employ whatever  antics or deceptions it took to do that crystallizing, including trying to discredit new research linking smoking to deadly diseases.

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