Excellence in Advertising: Winston cigarettes

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      Before God invented Netflix and PVRs, you had to sit through a battery of commercials every time you turned on the idiot box. Most of them made you wonder why the hell Philo Taylor Farnsworth didn’t also invent something to block out commercials. Like Netflix or PVRs. 

      But occasionally, a television ad struck gold to where you’d sit through a seven-hour Cannon marathon to see it again. And now, thanks to the magic of YouTube (which we can thank God for inventing) you can relive the magic at the touch of a mouse. Here’s today’s nomination for Excellence in Advertising.

      It was a different time. That's pretty much all that can be said in defence of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble hawking Winstons in prime time in 1961. I suppose you could also insist that The Flintstones was aimed at an adult audience—it was, after all, based on The Honeymooners—but that argument turns to rubble (see what I did there?) when you consider the fact that all subsequent spinoff shows were broadcast on Saturday mornings alongside such undeniably kiddie-oriented fare as The Banana Splits and My Little Pony.

      No, there was really no justification for having cartoon characters push smoking to an audience composed largely of youngsters, and when the cutesy-poo character of Pebbles Flintstone was added in 1963, thus cementing the show's status as children's entertainment, Winston wisely pulled its sponsorship.

      Oh, and just in case it needs to be said: Don't smoke, kids. It's bad for you.