Philip Morris launched the Marlboro brand in 1924 as a woman's cigarette, based on the slogan "Mild As May". In the 20s, advertising for the cigarette was primarily based around how ladylike the cigarette was. To this end, the filter had a printed red band around it to hide lipstick stains, calling it "Beauty Tips to Keep the Paper from Your Lips".
After scientists published a major study linking smoking to lung cancer in the 1950s, Philip Morris repositioned Marlboro as a men's cigarette in order to fit a market niche of men who were concerned about lung cancer. At the time, filtered cigarettes were considered safer than unfiltered, but had been until that time only marketed to women.
The repositioning of Marlboro as a men's cigarette was handled by Chicago advertiser Leo Burnett. The proposed campaign was to present a lineup of manly figures: sea captains, construction workers, etc. The cowboy was to have been the first in this series..(source: Wikipedia)
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