Marlboro Soft Pack c.1989 (100 x 70cms)

by Artist Orla Walsh


 Acrylic on box canvas 100 x 70cms

I was 19 years old when I went to New York on my J1 visa. This is my first ever soft pack of Marlboro Lights. I bought them in a little store in upstate New York near Westchesster Country Club where I worked as a waitress for the summer. I thought the soft packet was the coolest think I’d ever seen, I had never seen them before. I brought the pack home with me and made a collage out of it in my college diary. A few weeks ago I had to remove it with a craft knife and the 30 year old masking tape was seriously sticky. I put back together with pritt stick and painted it.

While I was painting the pack I began to notice a lot of discrepancy in the packaging. I googled it and I was shocked to find out that the soft pack was counterfeit. I bought it in a corner shop in Portchester and I did not have a clue!

Some crazy facts:
They were first launched as a woman’s cigarette in 1824, originally it was marketed as a ‘ladies favourite in 1885
In the 1920s, the filter had a printed red band around it to hide lipstick stains, calling it “Beauty Tips to Keep the Paper from Your Lips”.
It was remarked in the states as a mans cigarette in the 1950s The proposed campaign was to present a lineup of manly figures: sea captains, weightlifters, war correspondents, construction workers but it was the Cowboy that was the most popular.
The image of the Cowboy came the cover of a Life Magazine in 1949 and he became the iconic Marlboro Man
The music from the Marlboro adverts were from the movie the magnificent seven and was nominated for an academy award.
All three famous Marlboro men dies of lung cancer including the inventor Philip Morris