Date: 1946
Brand: Old Gold
Manufacturer: P. Lorillard
Campaign: Dentist Recommends
Theme: Doctors Smoking
Keywords: Male, Doctor, Dentist, Elderly
Quote: Believe it or not, this jury of dentists decided that Old Gold's filling was perfect! They examined, smelled and smoked O.G's Dentists see a lot of throats. Know what harsh tobacco does to teeth and gums Ask your dentist about Old Gold for throat-ease.

Comment: This advertisement for Old Golds claims that dentists preferred Old Golds over three other brands. Made more attractive and believable by including Robert Ripley (1890-1949), creator of Ripley s Believe it or Not, the ad cites a taste test given to a jury of dentists. There is no indication of how large this group is, but from the photograph, the sampling appears small. The dentists opinions are made more important by the copy text, which explains that Dentists see a lot of throats. Know what harsh tobacco does to teeth and gums. A nearly identical Ripley s ad was issued under the title Throat Doctors pick Old Gold. Mr. Ripley passed away from heart failure at the age of 59.

Dentist Recommends

Along with doctors and nurses, dentists presented yet another health professional that had the potential to reassure consumers worried about the ill health effects of smoking. Whereas otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors) could assure mildness for throats, the recommendation from a dentist might indicate fewer cosmetic mouth side effects for the advertised brands. The none-too-subtle message was that if the dentist, with all of his expertise in oral care, chose to smoke a particular brand or recommended a particular brand, then it must be safe. Dentists were seen as experts not only in suffering throats, but also in such side effects as yellowed teeth, bad breath, and oral cancer. Well-known early victims of oral cancer include Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who developed cancer of the palate after years of smoking 20 cigars a day; U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), who passed away from tongue cancer; and U.S. President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), who suffered from cancer of the palate in 1893. Though President Cleveland successfully had the cancer surgically removed, he ultimately died of a heart attack 15 years later.

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