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Morley: The cigarette brand that doesn’t exist… even though it’s in every TV show

This made-up brand has a long history, from Lost to the X Files to the Dick van Dyke Show

Look closely at a smoker in any of your favourite TV shows and there’s a good chance their cigarette of choice is a Morley.

But you won’t find that brand in your local corner shop, because Morley doesn’t exist – and never has.

So why does everybody on screen smoke the same made-up brand? This informative video explains how Morley became a dominant force in TV history.

It all comes back to the early days of television in America. Cigarette companies could essentially advertise their wares through product placement, but if none of the cigarette companies agreed to pay to put their brand in a TV show, producers would instead insert a pack of Morleys. That way no one got free advertising.

But then! As the dangers of smoking became more and more apparent, cigarette companies were banned from paying for their products to be included in TV shows. It was time for Morley to make a comeback.

After a comprehensive re-brand to the packaging (now red and white), Morleys again became ubiquitous. They’re in Orange Is The New Black, Gun Shy, Californication, Gun Shy, Burn Notice, American Horror Story…

So next time you spot someone having a fag on the telly, you never know: it might just be a Morley.

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