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nal colors of M&M's candies were red, yellow, violet, green and brown. Violet was discontinued and replaced with tan in the late 1940s. In 1976, Mars eliminated red-colored M&M's because of health concerns over the dye amaranth (FD&C Red #2), which was a suspected carcinogen, and replaced them with orange M&M's. This was done despite the fact that M&M's did not contain the dye; the action was purely to satisfy worried consumers. Ten years later, Paul Hethmon, then a student at University of Tennessee, started a joke campaign to reinstate red M&M's that would eventually become a worldwide phenomenon. Red M&M's were reintroduced as a result, and the orange M&M's that had originally replaced them were kept in production. In Europe, red M&M's contain the red dye carmine (E120, cochineal). In early 1995, Mars ran a promotion in which consumers were invited to vote on which of blue, pink, or purple would replace the tan M&M's. Blue was the winner with 54% of the votes. It replaced tan in late 1995. Consumers could vote by calling 1-800-FUN-COLOR. Ads for the new blue colors featured a plain and an almond blue M&M character as Red and Yellow take notice of trying to do takes in the commercial by painting themselves blue where they appear on stage with B.B. King singing the blues, but the filmmakers had to cut the scene as they were not the real blue M&M's; another featured Red and Yellow holding their breath to look like the new blue M&M's, where Steven Weber sees the three M&M's, Red, Yellow, and Blue; and one more featuring Weber talking to the blue M&M if he had dived into the chocolate pool, but did not. In 2002, Mars solicited votes in their first ever "M&M's Global Color Vote" to add a new color from three choices: aqua (turquoise), pink, and purple. Purple won and was featured for a limited time. T o help the colors get votes, Ken Schrader and his MB2 Motorsports team, who was sponsored by M&M's at the time, ran four paint schemes during the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season representing the promotion (one for aqua, one for pink, one for purple, and another one with all three colors on the car). Specially marked packages of M&M's were released in Japan. Finding a bag of all purple M&M's entitled the customer to a prize of 100 million yen (equivalent to approximately USD $852,000). Since 2004, M&M's have been available online in 17 colors, with personalized phrases on each candy on the opposite side from the "m". Released around Christmas, these custom-printed M&M's were originally intended for holiday greetings, but are now available all year round. For the 2008 Valentine's Day season, Mars introduced all-green bags of M&M's. This was due to common urban folklore that says green M&M's are an aphrodisiac. They were brought back for 2009 alongside the "Ms. Green Heats Up Valentine's Day" contest. In October 2011, Mars released M&M's White Chocolate Candy Corn exclusively in the United States for Halloween. These candies come in three candy corn inspired colors: white, bright yellow, and bright orange. The following is a summary of the changes to the colors of the flagship (milk chocolate) flavor of M&M's, the only filling manufactured continuously since the beginning of the brand. From 1941 until 1969, each package contained M&M's in five diffe