Race in Early Tobacco Advertising
This paper analyzes the inclusion/exclusion and portrayal of minorities (African and Native American) in one early form of tobacco advertising: American tobacco cards from 1880-1911. I test hypotheses related to: 1) attempts to hide the accomplishments/lifestyle of minorities; 2) the inclusion of minorities for exploitative purposes; 3) the role of competition on discrimination; and 4) the existence of progressive undercurrents in this form of advertising. My econometric analysis shows that American tobacco cards contributed via exclusion to the hidden from view treatment of minority lifestyles. The majority of minority inclusions was exploitative in nature promoting racial stereotyping and niche audience marketing, yet a limited progressive undercurrent of treatment, particularly for Native Americans, did emerge.JEL classification: B500, J150, N310
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