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Big Butt Makes It Clear: It's an Adult Cigar

April 09, 1998|Denise Gellene

Controversy about product placements involving tobacco hasn't deterred Redwood City-based Big Butt Cigar Co., whose cigars made their TV debut on a recent "Seinfeld" episode. Working through a product-placement firm, Big Butt succeeded in getting its stogies on the program Feb. 26. The exposure hasn't helped 3-year-old Big Butt, since the distinctive band on its cigar was barely visible. Some cigar makers, including New York-based General Cigar, have severed ties to product-placement firms as cigar use among underage smokers comes under scrutiny. Critics have accused cigar makers of using placements in TV shows and movies to glamorize smoking. Big Butt co-founder Joe Seither said that while "anything on the 'Seinfeld' show is glamorized," he isn't targeting underage smokers. Depictions of adult cigar use, he said, "are reflective of everyday life." Big Butt has annual sales of about $1 million.

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