Beirut: Paris of the Mideast

L’homme Marlboro est mort. The Marlboro man is dead. Kaput. Fini. He died recently in Wyoming at 85. A real cowboy, and lung cancer or COPD didn’t kill him, even after blowing all those smoke rings on national television and, presumably, while rounding up the little doggies on dark, rainy nights in lonesome arroyos.

 

He was actually the fifth Marlboro man in a tobacco advertising campaign that started in 1954 and lasted until 1999. It was designed to make filtered cigarettes, then considered feminine, more attractive to men. In fact, the most popular filtered cigarette slogan at the time was “Mild as May.” Unfortunately, the four previous holders of the title died of respiratory-related diseases, earning cigarettes the sobriquet of “Cowboy Killers.” The sixth Marlboro Man is still riding hard in Japan, with his rugged profile ubiquitous on cigarette vending machines.

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