George Washington Hill gives little or no damn whether he gets publicity or whether he doesn't. He knows he is good, doesn't have to be told so, is ready to admit it when asked. His itemized admission of his talent for spectacular advertising as told in court and revealed by Printers' Inklast month helped to win a $500,000 law suit. One Arthur R. Griswold had had the impertinence to suggest that Mr. Hill's company had stolen an idea for advertising Lucky Strikes.
On the stand, Mr. Hill began by announcing: "I have been actively engaged since 1907 on one side or the other in practically every cigaret campaign that has run in America. . . ."
Next he explained why he had never promoted a 10¢ cigaret. "Mr. Witzleben [his onetime advertising manager] said to me, 'Mr. Hill, I think a fellow has a suggestion here you might be interested in.' And I said, 'What is it?' And he said, 'He suggests we put out a new cigaret at ten cents and call it "Buddies."' I said, 'Willie, get out of here. You know very well I have got a book.'"
Asked what he meant, Tobaccoman Hill said: "There were two chorus girls on the corner of Forty-Second Street and Fifth Avenue. . . ."
The Court, interrupting, explained: Mr. Hill meant that he was not interested and was thinking about something else.
Then Witness Hill went into his advertising philosophy: "From time immemorial tobacco has been considered as a companion of men. Within recent years it has also been considered a companion of women and it makes for companionship between the two. . . . We have innumerable stories of the relaxation and the relief. . . ."
This really finished the case. But the most interesting irrelevancy of the trial was the following story about the origin of the Lucky Strike slogan: "My father [Percival S. Hill, whom George succeeded in 1925] was anxious to put out the brand of Lucky Strike cigarets, and I was not willing to put it out because I was sales manager and responsible to him for the success or failure of it, and I didn't have a reason for it. I went over to the factory one day . . . and when I got within three blocks of the factory it was very apparent to me the delicious odor and aroma of the tobacco as it passed through the toasting machines. ... I said to my father, 'There is something to that process and I cannot express it.' He says, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'He cooks it, cooks the tobacco.' My father says, 'That doesn't mean anything, he cooks the tobacco, that doesn't mean anything; there is no sense in that.' . . . A man by the name of Gerson Brown came in the room at that same time and father turned to this fellow and he says, 'Gerson, what do you have that is appetizing to which heat has been applied?' And Brown says, 'I always have toast in the morning.' My father says, 'That is itIt is toasted.' And my father created the phrase that way."