If you search for “Marlboro Mascot’ right now in Google, the first result you’ll see is an cartoon diseased lung smoking a cigarette.
That’s Jeff, and according to HBO’s John Oliver, he should be the new Marlboro mascot.
Oliver spent Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight skewering Marlboro, along with various other players in the big tobacco game. At the end, he asked viewers to help promote a new Marlboro Man of sorts – a giant, pink, diseased lung with a cowboy hat. This, according to Oliver, is a good compromise between Marlboro, who wants to promote its cowboy image, and various countries, who wish to label cigarettes as deadly lung-killers.
Thanks to Oliver and all the articles and searches prompted by his segment, here’s what you see when you search “Marlboro Mascot” in Google Images.
Unfortunately, Jeff the Diseased Lung is nowhere to be found on searches for “Marlboro” and “Marlboro Man”. Just give it time.
Philip Morris International has released a lengthy statement on John Oliver’s segment, saying that he gets laughs through “exaggeration and presenting partial views in the name of humor.”
“The segment includes many mischaracterizations of our company, including our approach to marketing and regulation, which have been embellished in the spirit of comedic license. While we recognize the tobacco industry is an easy target for comedians, we take seriously the responsibility that comes with selling a product that is an adult choice and is harmful to health,” says PMI.
Meanwhile, Jeff continues to take over Google Image search.