Pride Winston-Salem 2017, Beware Of Corporations That Appear To Be Allies

Despite the overcast weather Saturday, Downtown Winston was filled with the bright, rainbow colors of Pride Winston-Salem. Winston’s annual Pride weekend continues to grow bigger and bigger each year.

Even though it’s a very commercial event sponsored by car salesmen, bankers and the like, attending Pride Winston-Salem is still a political action affirming the humanity of the LGBTQ Community. As long as there is still a vocal, hate-spewing, anti-LGBTQ minority, it will be important for gays and straight allies to … Read the rest

The End Of Reynolds, Creation Of The World’s Biggest Tobacco Corporation

Wednesday, Reynolds held its final shareholder’s meeting. That’s big news, but the local press here in Winston-Salem didn’t give BAT’s buyout of Reynolds much attention. WXII spent about a minute describing the worlds largest tobacco company. Then they went on to the next story without any reflection on Reynolds’ history with the city or the future of Reynolds under BAT ownership.

Richard Craver, the Winston-Salem Journal’s excellent business reporter, had a couple of good articles on the subject. I … Read the rest

20 Years Ago Today, Reynolds Killed Its Shameless Joe Camel Campaign

On this day, 20 years ago R.J. Reynolds finally pulled the plug on its shameless Joe Camel campaign. The July 11, 1997, New York Times obituary of Joe Camel is worth rereading.

Joe Camel, the cartoon character that became the focus of perhaps the most intense attacks ever leveled against an American advertising campaign, is being sent packing by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which will replace it with stylized versions of Camel cigarettes’ original camel trademark.

Joe Camel,

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Remembering The Mouse House

Winston-Salem, N.C. is proud of its history-its 18th and 19th-century history that is. Winston’s is also extremely proud of its transition from a tobacco and textile manufacturing town, to its reincarnation as the so-called, “City of Arts and Innovation.” There’s a feeling in Winston that the past is in the past, but the past is always present. You just have to know where to look for it.

Winston’s history is intertwined with R.J. Reynolds’ Tobacco, like the city’s name itself. … Read the rest

Big Tobacco Consolidates: BAT Buys Reynolds

Months after British American Tobacco first offered to buy Reynolds, the two have reached a deal. BAT, the international tobacco company that James ‘Buck’ Duke co-founded in 1902 is absorbing Reynolds. Buck Duke has finally beaten R.J. Reynolds once and for all.

BAT played the long game. When Reynolds purchased Brown and Williams from BAT in 2004, BAT gained over 40 percent of Reynolds stock in the newly named, Reynolds American. They had seats on the board and … Read the rest

Big Tobacco’s Favorite Governor Comes To Winston-Salem Again

“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order.” That’s how Indiana Governor Mike Pence typically introduces himself. I suppose if Pence forthrightly told his supporters at the Millennium Center Tuesday that he’s a tireless supporter of Big Tobacco, Big Coal and Big Banks in that order it would be a little off-putting. But that’s the truth. Mike Pence may very well be Big Tobacco’s favorite governor.

Governor Pence is a cigarette truther. He’s questioned the connection … Read the rest