Smoking Mad: ANA Files Briefs To Challenge Tobacco Ad Ruling

Dan Jaffe

The Association of National Advertisers still believes restrictions on tobacco advertising violate free speech.

The ANA joined with two other industry groups in filing a "friend of the court" brief challenging decisions made to withhold restrictions on tobacco advertising.

The brief is against a recent U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky decision that upholds the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009.

Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of government relations for the ANA, stated: "The District Court went against 30 years of commercial speech precedent in upholding a majority of the most burdensome restrictions ever passed by Congress pertaining to the truthful advertising of a legal product."

That act placed restrictions on advertising tobacco products. It bans all outdoor advertising for tobacco products within 1,000 feet of any elementary or secondary school or playground; requires all ads to contain a government statement -- in addition to the current Surgeon General's warning -- about the possible dangers associated with the use of tobacco products, and bans promotional items, such as hats or T-shirts containing the name or logo of a tobacco product.

In addition, the court ruled that any sponsorship of athletic, musical, social or other cultural events by corporate name be restricted to adults.

It also demands compliance with more stringent requirements enacted by state and local governments and authorizes additional restrictions if the number of minors who use tobacco products has not decreased by 50% from 1994 levels.

Joining ANA in the amicus brief were the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the American Advertising Federation.

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