‘Torches Of Freedom’

‘Torches Of Freedom’

The American Tobacco Company attempts to eliminate the taboo against women smoking in public by paying women to march in New York’s Easter parade while openly smoking cigarettes. Edward Bernays, one of the earliest corporate public relations specialists and a nephew of Sigmund Freud, tells the women to call their cigarettes “torches of freedom,” tying them to the then-burgeoning feminist movement. The stunt generates media attention and is one of the earliest examples of the tobacco industry using PR to manipulate perceptions of their product.1

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