Tobacco Advertising In Old Radio Programs forums forums Portland Radio Tobacco Advertising In Old Radio Programs

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    On a variety of occasions, I have heard old time radio broadcasts complete with the original jingles and slogans for the cigarette brands that sponsored them when they were first on the air. To a contemporary audience, it is obvious that these sponsors did not pay for these programs to be rebroadcast some 60-70 years later.

    What I wonder is, is it legal for broadcasters to leave the advertisements in, in the interest of preserving pieces of history? Or, are they supposed to be editing them out?



    When I was listening to Radio Entertainment Network’s stream being simulcast overnights on Golden Hours years ago REN used to clip out tobacco adverts. It left some gaping continuity holes in the middle of some Jack Benny episodes. They tended to leave all other advertising spots in, with REN’s disclaimer on the half-hour saying they were for historic content and they did not accept payment.

    But that was over a decade ago.



    I was watching old TV Shows on You Tube the other day and saw a “KOOL Cigs” ads, but since the ads are not being paid, it is just considered a piece of broadcasting history. I am old enough to remember the cig ads. I think they were dropped about 1972, if I remember correctly.



    The first example that I heard was in the early 1990s, when a university station with a non-commercial license ran an old time radio slot on Tuesday evenings. The transcribed broadcast closed with the announcer telling the audience that the program had been brought to them by Philip Morris cigarettes, which did not cause “a certain kind of irritation” commonly encountered with other cigarettes. “Smoke Philip Morris today. You’ll be glad you did tomorrow,” the announcer concluded.

    I am being unspecific because I like the old time radio shows and do not want to draw the attention of the FCC.



    WFOS 88.7 in Chesapeake, Virginia (the public schools’ station) pre-rolls a disclaimer on all their OTR shows stating any tobacco advertisements are for historic purposes only. A simple solution.

    WFOS streams at : (WHRO, the local pubcaster is owned by a consortium of local public school districts so it makes sense for the WFOS audio to be handled by them.)

    Actually a neat high school radio station. Their schedule is here:




    A common disclaimer for OTR and such goes something like, “Vintage ads in the preceding hour were aired for historic and entertainment purposes only, not as endorsements for any product or service.”

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