Advance was the name of a Chilean brand of cigarettes produced by Cia. Chilena de Tabacos S.A. (also known as Chiletabacos), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco.
According to an internal British American Tobacco industry documents Chiletabacos’ research team began developing a “low-tar” cigarette brand when “the trend of the Brazilian cigarette smoker to milder cigarettes started to emerge in the 1970s” (1). The name “Advance” was chosen after research showed that Brazilians could easily pronounce the word and comprehend its meaning, since it is a cognate for the Portuguese word “avancado,” which the documents cite as “literally meaning advanced, up-to-date.” Clearly, the name for the brand was chosen to convince consumers that their cigarette was scientifically improved and thus healthier or less harmful.
The desire for a less harmful cigarette came to a head much later in Chile than it had in the U.S. Prior to 1980, Chile had reportedly “remained somewhat isolated from the world Smoking and Health debate” and there was a complete lack of government regulation against tobacco advertisements. However, the harmful effects of smoking began to mushroom up in Chile when a debate surrounding smog erupted in Santiago in 1979. Conveniently, Advance was released that same year, and clearly served to mislead consumers into believing a less harmful cigarette existed.
1. “BAT Marketing News: July 1980.” July 1980. British American Tobacco. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/iyt01a99.