Anandi Ramamurthy
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The Empire Marketing Board, tobacco advertising and the imaging of the white male imperial archetype
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In the inter-war period, the government's propaganda experiment, in the shape of the Empire Marketing Board (EMB), radically altered the state of affairs. This chapter traces the reasons for the government's direct involvement in marketing an imperial ideology and assesses the ways in which the EMB sold the idea of 'imperial partnership' to the nation. Through a perusal of tobacco advertising by both private enterprise and the EMB, the chapter considers the response and attitudes of private enterprise to the EMB ideals. Empire tobacco as a whole and Southern Rhodesian tobacco in particular was a heavily targeted commodity. The earliest representations of Africans in British advertising were to be found on tobacco labels and signs. The abrupt decline in use of the image of the African in tobacco advertising is matched to some degree by the rising use of the image of the white male imperial consumer.

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Imperial persuaders

Images of Africa and Asia in British advertising


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