The bulk of paperback advertising came from tobacco companies, which were looking for new places to push their products after a federal ban on cigarette advertising on television and radio passed in 1969. Beginning in 1971, the Lorillard Tobacco Company began buying into print runs of tens and even hundreds of thousands of copies apiece at the astounding rate of 125 titles a month, often in pulpy volumes like “Purr, Baby, Purr” and “The Executioner #8: Chicago Wipeout” — not to mention the poetically if unintentionally matched “I Come to Kill You” and “Unless They Kill Me First.” True to the era, Lorillard placed advertisements in 150,000 copies of “Group Sex,” as well as in “Heloise’s Kitchen Hints.” By 1975, the company had spent $3 million for advertisements in a staggering 540 million paperbacks.
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