Few casual fans remember this detail, but, during The Flintstones' first two seasons, Fred and Barney had a taste for nicotine. In this early black-and-white "integrated commercial" at the end of an episode, Fred and Barney tiptoe out of sight to enjoy a smoke – well, not just any smoke. They’re Winston men.
"The Flintstones has been brought to you by Winston, America’s best selling, best tasting filtered cigarette," says the cool-voiced announcer.
We'll forgive the blatant product placement. We'll ignore the bizarre artistic mismatch between the cartoon world and the photo-realistic box design – not to mention the historical dissonance. We’ll even excuse Fred and Barney for indulging in the unhealthy act of smoking.
But why on Pangaea would the Flintstones' creators put smoking into a cartoon? Sure, both product placement and smoking were commonplace in the 1960s. (Just take a look at "Mad Men.") But when was it ever a good idea to pronounce that "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should."
After the first two seasons, the prehistoric duo kicked the habit and Welch's – both the grape juice and the grape jelly – became the show's primary sponsors, with Pebbles asking for the Concord, Mass. company's products by name.