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Tobacco consumption peaked in New Zealand in the early 1960s. These three commercials from the 1950s for Westend cigarettes use more advanced radio production techniques – including sound effects, multiple voices and music – to evoke three scenes with an atmosphere of enjoyment and sophistication, associated with smoking Westend cigarettes. The tagline for each is "Life is full of pleasantness."
In the first, a man enjoys a cigarette while reading "a good book in a cosy chair"; in the second, a couple sitting outside a dance enjoy a cigarette together; and in the third, a husband and wife enjoy breakfast in bed – and a Westend – "the cigarette you're proud to offer."
Following research and growing evidence on the harm of smoking, tobacco advertising was banned on radio and television in New Zealand in 1963 – eight years before a similar ban was introduced in the United States.
Image: [Venables Willis Ltd (Napier)]: Dog is reputed to be man's best friend! He's now got a rival in fragrant Westend cigarettes. Ten for 10d. [ca 1938-1955]. Ref: Eph-F-TOBACCO-1940s-04. Alexander Turnbull Library http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23528895
Catalogue Reference 261861
NZ Broadcasting Service, Commercial Division
Advertiser: Westend Cigarettes (National Tobacco Co. Ltd)