Quantcast

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Philip Morris Sued Sega Over Unauthorized Malboro Ads

  1. #1
    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Cabo Rojo, PR
    Posts
    9,479
    Rep Power
    130

    arcade Philip Morris Sued Sega Over Unauthorized Malboro Ads

    1991, cigarette maker Phillip Morris decided to sue Sega Enterprises over use of what was obviously a version of its Malboro brand logo. Found in the arcade version of Super Monaco GP, the ads set off what was a relatively quiet, if not tense situation between the two companies that ended in a settlement. Read the full article for more details.

  2. #2
    Wildside Expert
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    207
    Rep Power
    17

    Default

    Interesting read. I thought it would be fun to speculate on why Sega originally included these ads.

    -Japan has never been as protective of children when it comes to smoking (especially in the 80s!). You can still buy candy cigarettes in Japan and it's not uncommon to find people smoking in child-directed TV shows/anime (although I think this has changed in recent years). That's probably why 30% of adult men smoke there. Super Monaco GP is FULL of fake ads for other companies as well, so they probably wouldn't have thought twice about including a cigarette company. In addition, Japanese arcades were more frequented by adults/teenagers than children compared with arcades in the US. There was never a shortage of strip mahjong / strip puzzle games in arcades there, that's for sure.

    -This kind of fake product placement is fairly prevalent in Japanese media. This may be due to the laxity of Japanese trademark law (technically, the logos and names are different), but I have no idea about that. Nevertheless, I suppose companies don't mind since it is essentially free advertising.

    -As mentioned in the article, Sega included fake Marlboro ads in Hang On, but also in Outrun (spelled "Morlboru"). So continuing this tradition in Super Monaco GP probably wouldn't have raised any questions in development.

    -Again, speculation, but it seems like Marlboro wouldn't have cared about this except that they were forced into action when the FTC complaint was published. At that point, they had to make it look like they were being proactive in protecting children.

    I wonder if the recall only occurred in America.

  3. #3
    Raging in the Streets
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,150
    Rep Power
    66

    Default

    Advertising cigarettes in a game, at a time when the industry was mainly geared to children & young teenagers was always definitely going to offend some people.

    Not before long most sports companies would completely forbid advertising cigarettes anyway.

  4. #4
    WCPO Agent Tripredacus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Buffalo
    Posts
    982
    Rep Power
    34

    Default

    Philip Morris will sue anyone who has a white triangle shape over red. They had gone after Tomy when they tried to release Masterpiece Wheeljack in Diaclone colors, which was based on a real Marlboro sponsored race car, but obviously the cigarette branding was removed.
    http://tformers.com/phillp-morris-ba...5223/news.html
    Sega Genesis Master Set Collector
    https://vgcollect.com/Tripredacus/gen

  5. #5
    Benjamin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Age
    42
    Posts
    1,579
    Rep Power
    32

    Default

    Great article. I think this was just a happy coincidence of Philip Morris being able to file a suit to protect its brand (which any company would and basically has to do) and gain some positive press for "looking out for the children." A company like this already has an army of attorneys on staff, so this is pretty much no risk/all gain to bring the charge to court.

    I do wonder how many operators actually flashed their boards to remove the offending in-game fake ad. If it were not for the payment, I doubt anyone would bother, and even then it still might have been too much of a hassle anyway.

  6. #6
    Road Rasher bigladiesman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Barcelona, Europe
    Age
    35
    Posts
    307
    Rep Power
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crom View Post
    Interesting read. I thought it would be fun to speculate on why Sega originally included these ads.

    -Japan has never been as protective of children when it comes to smoking (especially in the 80s!). You can still buy candy cigarettes in Japan and it's not uncommon to find people smoking in child-directed TV shows/anime (although I think this has changed in recent years). That's probably why 30% of adult men smoke there. Super Monaco GP is FULL of fake ads for other companies as well, so they probably wouldn't have thought twice about including a cigarette company. In addition, Japanese arcades were more frequented by adults/teenagers than children compared with arcades in the US. There was never a shortage of strip mahjong / strip puzzle games in arcades there, that's for sure.

    -This kind of fake product placement is fairly prevalent in Japanese media. This may be due to the laxity of Japanese trademark law (technically, the logos and names are different), but I have no idea about that. Nevertheless, I suppose companies don't mind since it is essentially free advertising.

    -As mentioned in the article, Sega included fake Marlboro ads in Hang On, but also in Outrun (spelled "Morlboru"). So continuing this tradition in Super Monaco GP probably wouldn't have raised any questions in development.

    -Again, speculation, but it seems like Marlboro wouldn't have cared about this except that they were forced into action when the FTC complaint was published. At that point, they had to make it look like they were being proactive in protecting children.

    I wonder if the recall only occurred in America.
    This sums up my opinion. I was about to comment on the first point as the cathalyst of the situation: at the time, tobacco use in pop culture was as accepted in Japan as it was in the States during the Golden Era of cinema studios (you know, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, even Ronald Reagan... They were so “Kool” :P). Smoking was seen as something more than “cool”: it was, well, “natural”. Even notoriously non-smoking mangakas like Yoichi Takahashi (Captain Tsubasa) depicted smoker characters at some point (in a spokon or sporting manga, no less). Not to speak about the egregious case of 8-Man, who got his power by ingesting pills dressed up as cigarettes.

    So, I think Sega, like all Japanese society at the time, was innocently insensitive (let me use italics here, because I personally think that, at the time, if Sega of Japan wanted to be informed about the general social situation in the West, they could) about this issue, and this, combined with the hypocrisy and the natural eagerness for easy money of the Big Tobacco industry, spurred all the conflict.

    BTW, I'm a non-smoking advocate, but it's true that, at the time, tobacco ads were everywhere on sight in sporting events. Those ads really gave realism to the game and made it closer to the real thing!
    Last edited by bigladiesman; 01-17-2019 at 05:51 PM.

  7. #7
    counter of beans Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Cafeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    120
    Rep Power
    6

    Default

    Thanks for the article.

  8. #8
    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,252
    Rep Power
    37

    Default

    Cool article, there were several things in the 80's that I grew up with, but which will never happen again, lol.

    We had candy cigarettes which were awesome lol, they were basically all made of sugar, with powdered sugar that you could breathe out, into clouds of sugar-smoke. Definitely not going to happen again.

    We also had these little candy containers in the shape of beer bottles, like 2 inches tall, the bottles were made of wax with sugary colored liquid inside.

    There were also those old cartoons that had racist stereotypes... Bugs Bunny had a few episodes with a stereotype Native American guy (hunting him, I think?).

    Tom & Jerry had that nanny with coal-black skin, I think u only saw her legs but she was obviously a black stereotype.

    Ah, those were the days, lol.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 6 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 6 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •