Tobacco Companies Get 1,742 Page Ass Whooping

The tobacco industry was dealt a big blow yesterday in a 1,742 page document by a federal court judge who said tobacco companies have engaged in racketeering and has banned the sale of light and ultralight cigarettes as reported in Advertising Age. Among the edicts in the judgement"

-the use of the terms "low tar," "light," "ultra light," "mild" and "natural" are banned;
-for two years, big tobacco is required to buy full-page corrective advertising monthly in the Sunday editions of more than two dozen major newspapers with the schedule alternated so the ads appear at least weekly;
-major tobacco makers are ordered to run 15-second corrective TV spots once a week during prime time for a year;
-packaging and in-store signs must carry new corrective advertising.

If we ran a tobacco company today, we'd be pretty close to saying, "Fuck it. This sucks. Let's go sell paper clips. That sounds like less of a hassle."

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (4)     File: Good, Policy     Aug-18-06  
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Oh goodness, that's AWFUL. Alright, not really, cigarette companies make way too much money and cigarettes kill people and they can't make them illegal, and nobody's going to stop anyway.

I don't care if "light" or "ultralight" is kosher any more. I just want to know that I can still buy Parliament Lights next time I go to the store because the full-flavoured ones suck. Seriously, how is this going to affect smokers? We always get left out of the decision-making process.

Posted by: StephL on August 18, 2006 12:52 PM

Yeah, but you have to remember that there are more smokers in, say, China than the population of the entire USA. And (I believe) Philip Morris spends over $1 million a day in tax on the several trillion cigarattes they produce in the USA every year. It's still an incredibly lucrative business.

Posted by: Alastair Bird on August 18, 2006 01:27 PM

have you seen how much money they make? i imagine they will do anything they are asked and, of course, return the cost to the consumer b/c they are adicts and will absorb the price increase.

Posted by: bdp on August 18, 2006 02:34 PM

If it was such an ass whooping, why did altria stock go up 3.5% on the news? Wall Street has a different read than Madison Ave. The ruling by the judge was all bark and no bite.

Posted by: Bob Visco on August 18, 2006 02:37 PM

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