Why are Marlboro Menthol Lights so popular


Trademark Lexicon

Tobacco dealer Philip Morris (1823-1873) opened a tobacco shop selling hand-rolled Turkish cigars on Old Bond Street, in the London borough of Mayfair, in 1847. From 1854, the company also began producing cigarettes, including the brands Cambridge, Derby, Oxford Blues, Philip Morris and Marlborough - named after the Philip Morris factory on Grand Marlborough Street. After the founder passed away, his widow Margaret and brother Leopold continued to run the business. However, the family withdrew from the company by 1894.

In 1902 the London company, which the year before had been appointed official purveyor to the court by King Edward VII, and the US tobacco dealer Gustav Eckmeyer, who had imported and sold Philip Morris cigarettes to America since 1872, founded a subsidiary in New York. In 1919 the company's headquarters were relocated entirely to the USA in Richmond / Virginia; ten years later, Philip Morris began producing cigarettes in Richmond.

In 1924 the still unfiltered Marlborough was renamed Marlboro and henceforth marketed as a chic women's cigarette (slogan: "Mild as May"); In 1930 she got a short filter. Just a few years earlier, women smoking in public were unthinkable in the United States. It was not until a provocative action staged by marketing expert Edward Bernays in 1920 on behalf of the American Tobacco Company (Lucky Strike, Pall Mall) that women now view smoking as part of their liberation from male supremacy. Under the slogan »Torches of Freedom«, Bernays had a group of women smoking photographed by press photographers during an Easter parade in New York, who then, as expected, distributed the specular photos across the country.

Philip Morris remained a relatively small tobacco company until the early 1950s, with a market share of just one percent in the United States. It wasn't until the Chicago advertising agency Leo Burnett invented the Marlboro cowboy in 1954 (slogan: "Where there's a man, there's a Marlboro") that the unstoppable rise of this brand and with it the company began. The new advertising character transformed America and the rest of the world step by step into Marlboro countries (including 1957 Great Britain, Australia; 1960 Germany, Philippines; 1962 Finland, Italy; 1963 Switzerland, Austria; 1965 France, 1972 Japan, 1974 Spain). The longest-lasting Marlboro slogan »Come to where the flavor is. "Come to Marlboro Country" was first used in 1963.

In 1955 Marlboro got a long filter, and the cigarettes were now sold in a red and white flip-top box designed by Frank Giannoto (previously the soft packs were brown; from 1958 on, Marlboro was also sold in soft packs again). From 1966 there was a menthol variant, which was very popular for a long time, especially in the USA, and in 1967 the longer Marlboro 100's followed, initially in gold packaging and from 1970 in the Marlboro colors red and white. 1972 - in this year the Lights variant was also launched - Marlboro became the best-selling cigarette in the world, and in 1975 it also took the lead in the USA. Before that, Winston from the camel manufacturer Reynolds Tobacco had been the top-selling US cigarette brand for a few years.

According to the opinion of chemists and competitors, the rise to global market leader should not only be related to the striking advertising, but also to the fact that Philip Morris added ammonia to Marlboro tobacco from 1965 onwards; Ammonia and ammonium compounds increase the pH value of the smoke and convert some of the pollutants into free nicotine, which can be absorbed more quickly by the lungs and reaches the brain within a few seconds (nicotine occurs in tobacco smoke in salt form and as free nicotine ). The result is a milder smoke, a faster effect and an increased dependency despite lower absolute nicotine and tar levels.

The Philip Morris Group (Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield, Lark, L&M, Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims), which in the meantime also includes the Miller Brewing brewery and the General Foods groups (Birds Eye, Cafe HAG, Hellmann's, Jell- O, Kaba, Kool-Aid, Maxwell House, Onko, Oscar Mayer, Post Ceraels) and Kraft Foods (Jacobs, Kraft, Milka, Miracle Whip, Mirácoli, Philadelphia, Suchard, Toblerone, Velveeta) renamed the Altria Group in 2003 Inc. (from Latin altus = high) around. In 2008, Altria spun off Philip Morris International (Lausanne / Switzerland), the subsidiary responsible for the international tobacco business, from the group; the shares were sold to the Altria shareholders. Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International are now two independent companies.

From 1984 to 2013, casual clothing was also marketed under the Marlboro label (Marlboro Sportswear, from 1987 Marlboro Classics); The licensee and manufacturer was initially the Italian Marzotto Group and from 2005 to 2013 the Valentino Fashion Group (Hugo Boss, Lebole, M Missoni, Valentino), which Marzotto had taken over in 2002. After the license with International Trademark Inc. expired, the brand was sold to the British fund company Emerisque Brands in 2013 and renamed MCS.

The smoking Marlboro Man actors Wayne McLaren, David McLean, Eric Lawson and Tobin Jackson showed what can happen when you let yourself be lured into Marlboro Country by the tobacco barons from Virginia: they all died of lung diseases. Another well-known Marlboro-Man was the Australian actor and short-term James Bond actor George Lazenby.