The Flintstones: Fred And Barney And Winston

Return with us now to 1960 — the good old days — when you could sit down with the family to watch The Flintstones, while the folks at the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company marketed Winston cigarettes to your kids.

As Fred says, “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.”

By Marc Librescu

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3 responses to “The Flintstones: Fred And Barney And Winston

  1. It’s funny. We get upset seeing things like this, because its so incredibly shocking. Now, let’s step back to a time when smoking was taken for granted and Tobacco companies had free reign to sponsor and advertise as they saw fit. The only difference between this advert and many modern adverts, is that we don’t often know for sure how contemporary products will affect our health. Rewind to 1960, how many people do you think knew that cigarettes were a certain death ticket? Not they really are, there is no such thing true linear causation in toxicology. The dose is the poison.

    • I’m not 100 percent sure what your point is, but science moves in the direction of more knowledge about the effects of various products, not less.

      Regardless of what the public knew about cigarettes in the early 1960s, documents show that the tobacco companies knew about them in the 1950s. In light of that fact, advertising on a cartoon show (that admittedly was aimed at adults, although kids were watching) is even more odious.

  2. My point was slightly cynical, it was that while we are shocked by this, in 40 years we’ll be shocked by the things corporate research found out and chose to conceal until the the FDA or some other agency finally detected them and called them out. Human beings are not less malicious or greedy now than they were then and I’m sure there are a hundred things we haven’t discovered the effects of that are slowly eating away at us every day. You call it odious… well, we are a race of odious creatures and this is what we do. We snag children as early as possible and whether its an ideology (any part of the spectrum), a product, or an aspiration we bury them in it until they believe its true or they want it. Get over big tobacco, its a symptom of something far more invasive… human nature.