From the mid 1970s to the mid ‘80s, red M&M’s disappeared. American consumers had become worried about the safety of red food coloring after some questionable Russian studies prompted the FDA to look into whether one particular dye might be causing cancer in rats. But years later, the red M&M made a triumphant return, thanks in part to a college kid in Tennessee and an inside joke that took on a life of its own. Sign up for our newsletter:
40: The Marlboro Woman
Marlboro cigarettes are synonymous with the rugged figure who sells them: the Marlboro Man. But the cigarette he smokes was originally marketed to women, and its journey from the lips of debutantes to the hands of cowboys takes us from first-wave feminism to the frontier of advertising. PLUS: Did Lucky Strike make the color green cool? And how did Marlboro find ways to market cigarettes despite increased regulations? We cover it all in BTYB Uncut. Sign up for our newsletter:
Trailer: We're back!
Starting February 19, we’re back with new stories about the brands you *think* you know. Tune in this season to learn about the women who paved the way for Marlboro’s most famous mascot, the red scare that changed M&M’s history, Spam’s double life in the U.S., and more!
39: Scoot Over?
About two years ago, companies like Bird and Lime deposited thousands of dockless electric scooters in San Diego. Some people loved them… and some people hated them. While city officials considered what to do, two guys decided they’d had enough and took matters into their own hands. What followed were lawsuits, a physical alteration, and a growing new business. Plus, in a new segment, we learn what a beloved brand of chocolate has to do with inflation in the U.K. Sign up for our newsletter:
38: The Coed Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) caused a stir when it reversed its “no girls allowed” rule for the Boy Scouts last year. But it turns out, this isn’t the first time the BSA has gone coed. We take a closer look at what happened, and one Sea Scout reflects on how gender affected her experience in the Scouts. Subscribe to our newsletter: CORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode made reference to new Boy Scout (now known as Scout BSA) troops including girls and boys. While there are now all-girl and all-boy Scout BSA troops which sometimes participate in activities and events together, there are not currently coed troops.
These are the surprising stories behind our biggest, household name brands. Host Dan Bobkoff finds tales of tragedy, love, strange histories, unintended consequences, and accidental success.
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