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Old 05-30-2019, 10:09 PM
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Default Benson & Hedges Ads

Introduction:
Benson & Hedges is a British brand of cigarettes owned by either Altria (aka, Philip Morris), Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, or Japan Tobacco, depending on the region. They are "English Style" cigarettes, predominantly made from Virginia tobacco. In some countries where Philip Morris does not hold the Benson & Hedges trademark, such as the Philippines, a variant of the North American Benson & Hedges cigarette brand is sold under the "Philip Morris" brand using similar packaging.

Origins:
Benson & Hedges was founded in London in 1873 by Richard Benson and William Hedges as Benson and Hedges Ltd. Alfred Paget Hedges (1867-1929) succeeded his father in the business in 1885, the same year which Richard Benson left the business. The 1900s saw branches of Benson & Hedges Ltd. opening in the United States and Canada. In 1928, the American branch became independent, and was later bought by Philip Morris in 1958. In the United Kingdom Benson & Hedges Ltd. was acquired by the Gallaher Group in 1955, which in turn was acquired by Japan Tobacco in April 2007.

Royal Warrant:
A Royal Warrant was issued to the British company in 1878, after the required five years of supply to the Royal Family. This was the brand of cigarettes preferred by King George VI, who was famed for his heavy cigarette smoking. The royal warrant was revoked in 1999 due to a "lack of demand in the royal households." The Warrant seal, which had previously been on the flip lid of the box, was removed.


Benson & Hedges Royal Warrant

Markets:
In the 1930s, Benson & Hedges (Overseas) Ltd. was established by Abraham Wix to handle international trade. This branch was acquired by British American Tobacco in 1956. Today, British American Tobacco markets Benson & Hedges throughout Asia and the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, but with the exception of Taiwan and the Philippines. The Canadian branch of Benson and Hedges is owned by Philip Morris International. In Canada, a popular brand is "Belmonts," manufactured by Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. in Quebec City. In the United States, the brand is owned by Philip Morris USA (Altria).

B&H cigarettes are available in Gold or Silver forms, and in some countries also as Red, Green (Menthol), Blue, White and Black. In total, the brand was or still is sold in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Pakistan, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish possessions on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco), Italy, Cyprus, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Slovenia, Serbia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Seychelles, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Canada, United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand.

Virginia Slims Spin-off:
In July 1968, Phillip Morris released Virginia Slims, a thinner and more "elegant" alternative to regular cigarettes, as a spin-off of Benson & Hedges intended to be sold to women.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 05-30-2019 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:20 PM
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Default Oasis

Oasis members Noel and Liam Gallagher are Benson & Hedges smokers, with Noel naming his two cats "Benson" and "Hedges." Oasis released a collection of their singles, sold in a special box shaped and colored like Benson & Hedges cigarette packs, up until their second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?.


Liam and Noel Gallagher smoking

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Old 05-30-2019, 10:31 PM
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Default Non-Filter Benson & Hedges: "When only the best will do"

Of course, Benson & Hedges started out as non-filter cigarettes. The slogan from that era was "When only the best will do." Below are early ads from the 1940s and 1950s:






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Old 05-30-2019, 10:37 PM
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The finely dressed lady holding a cigarette with a holder is nice. Back then smoking was fashionable.

The cigarettes on airlines were probably complementary. The price of air travel was expensive. And back then people dressed up to fly. Sadly both smoking and dressing up to travel by air are both history.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:42 PM
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Default Other Benson & Hedges Ltd. Brands

When Benson & Hedges Ltd. was still an independent company, before 1958, it was the manufacturer of other brands, including Virginia Rounds, Olivier, and Parliament.





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Old 05-30-2019, 10:53 PM
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Default Just Say "Yes"

Benson & Hedges ads from the 1960s, now a filter cigarette in a bold, all-gold pack, had a one word slogan: "Yes."

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Old 05-30-2019, 10:58 PM
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Default

Originally Posted by Bill View Post
The finely dressed lady holding a cigarette with a holder is nice. Back then smoking was fashionable.

The cigarettes on airlines were probably complementary. The price of air travel was expensive. And back then people dressed up to fly. Sadly both smoking and dressing up to travel by air are both history.
Thanks for your comment.

Benson & Hedges, right from the very start, cultivated an upscale, aristocratic image. So, of course, like the finely dressed lady, the featured characters are going to be classy and fashionable.

I'll be adding to this thread as I'm able. I can't possibly finish it tonight!
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:56 AM
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Thank you for starting this thread! The classy B&H image from their ads is one of the reasons I bought a pack of B&H the first time I bought my own pack. More than 20 years later Iím still buying them.
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:49 AM
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Default 1966: "New" U.S. Benson & Hedges

Philip Morris acquired the U.S. Benson & Hedges Ltd. company in 1958. In 1966, Philip Morris relaunched the Benson & Hedges brand as a 100 mm. cigarette with a white filter, available in gold (regular) and green (menthol) packs. From 1966 until 2019 it was only available in 100's in the United States. The initial slogan was "3 puffs, 4 puffs, maybe 5 puffs longer than king size." The tobacco blend of the U.S. version was apparently changed somewhat as well, though it was still a Virginia predominant "English Style." The new pack design (a soft pack) featured the print "Park Avenue New York" instead of "Old Bond Street London."



Other, less wordy, slogans were "that's a good idea" and "America adjusts to Benson and Hedges 100's."


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Old 05-31-2019, 06:07 AM
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Default B&H Multifilter: "The Moderate Smoke"

For a while in the early 1970's there was a second "style" of Benson & Hedges available in the U.S., Benson & Hedges Multifilter, which was King size, and featured a two-staged, cellulose acetate and charcoal filter, like Tareyton and Lark, designed for a smoother smoke that wasn't weak -- hence the slogan "the moderate smoke." The pack was a unique "humidor" pack. I don't know when B&H Multifilter was discontinued in the U.S., but it still exists in some foreign markets. Here's an ad from 1972:

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