From the first episode of Mad Men to the current fourth season, Lucky Strike cigarettes have been the primary account for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (formerly Sterling Cooper). However, the agency and their old friend finally parted ways this past week as part of a series of losses that has led SCDP on the verge of collapse. In a daring attempt to spin this troublesome news, Don Draper decides to write an open letter to the public saying that the agency will no longing take on cigarettes accounts due to their danger to people’s health. Of course, this is Don’s attempt to spin bad news and not a sudden emergence of ethical standards.
Ironically, the real life Lucky Strike brand underwent its own endeavors with the delicate art of spin. During the 1940s, Lucky Strike claimed in their ad campaigns to have “gone to war” alongside Americans. Their signature green packaging was replaced with white, and sales increased by 40 percent. Part of this was the result of a claim by the parent company, American Tobacco, that they had changed the pack because they wanted to save the copper used in the green paint that went onto the packages for the war effort. However, this patriotic act was not altogether true. While the gold trim of the packaging was indeed made with copper-based paint, the substantially larger green portion was made from chromium. The real reason behind the change in colors was studies (perhaps conducted by men not so different from Don and Pete Campbell) that showed that women, a growing demographic of the smoking population, disapproved of the drab, green color.
Pretty sneaky, no? Then again, these are the people who have successfully peddled what have been known colloquially for over a half century as “caner sticks”.
Links referenced: "Lucky Strike." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 5 Oct 2010. Web. 11 Oct 2010.