The 1920s and 1930s saw the heyday of celebrity endorsement, with celebrities hawking everything from soap and pantyhose to canned beans and cars. Tobacco companies were especially fond of celebrity testimonials, enlisting hundreds upon hundreds of celebrities to endorse their tobacco products well into the 1960s. In these advertisements, actors, famous singers, athletes, and even socialites graced the pages of popular magazines, editorials, and newspapers printed across the country.
Famous voices, in this case newsmen, had a particular appeal for cigarette advertisers. The emphasis on a healthy, clear voice in the broadcast journalist’s line of work was an ideal avenue for portraying cigarettes as healthful, rather than harmful. If Walter Winchell, for example, trusted his voice and throat – his source of revenue – to a cigarette brand, then it seems less irritating and dangerous. Newsmen also represent a more serious side of the celebrity industry, appealing to hardworking businessmen who may be less swayed by other celebrity endorsements.