Movie memo

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

This 412-page document lists feature films in which American Tobacco Company cigarettes were injected (or were attempted to be injected) into the plot, or in which they were placed as "set dressing." Examples: "Pall Mall, Carlton and Lucky Strike cigarettes will be used as set dressing in a Mini Mart in Comstock," "We provided LUCKY STRIKE cigarettes for Kathleen. The cigarettes have been established as her brand, and she will be smoking them throughout the film. The exposure for THE AMERICAN TOBACCO CO. should be great."

The document lists many significant family films in which cigarettes were placed or attempted to be placed: "Big Top Pee Wee" (starring Pee Wee Herman), "Ghostbusters II" (starring Dan Aykroid and Bill Murray), "Christmas Vacation" (with Chevy Chase), "Look Who's Talking Too" (with Kirstie Alley, John Travolta), "Ghost" (starring Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze), "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, "Big" starring Tom Hanks, and many more. A memo discussing the film "Clean and Sober" (about a man who checks himself into a detox center) says "Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and Carlton were given for use by Charlie and many other patients in the detox center."

The placement company proposed that, in a film about a high school student, the main characters' father and favorite hero both smoke American Tobacco cigarettes throughout the film ["Personal Choice," 1988, listed on page 180]. For another film about a 13 year old girl ("Far From Home" starring Drew Barrymore), it was proposed that her father smoke Carlton cigarettes [Page 183].

The document points out that in some cases cigarettes were provided for "good guy" roles (e.g., Page 313).

According to this list, cigarettes were purposely made to appear in hundreds of films: cigarettes are seen in the foreground and background, on billboards, in stores, inside a freezer, on a truck, in bars, around the Thanksgiving table, on signs and countertops. They are purposely used throughout many films by main characters: fathers, mothers, heroes, by supporting actors and extras, in response to stress and as props to make a character appear "cool."

Company/Source: American Tobacco Company
Author: Mezzatesta G, and McMullen CR, UPP Entertainment Marketing
Date: July, 1990
Length: 412 pages
Bates No. ATX040390143/0554