TV Sports Fans Will See Cigarette Ads Less

By Ap Lorraine Kee of the Post-Dispatch contributed information to this story. | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), June 7, 1995 | Go to article overview

TV Sports Fans Will See Cigarette Ads Less


Ap Lorraine Kee of the Post-Dispatch contributed information to this story., St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Marlboro Country got a little smaller Tuesday.

Philip Morris Inc. agreed to move its cigarette ads from spots in stadiums and arenas where they would likely be seen during televised during sports events.

Government lawyers had contended that the signs were designed to circumvent the 1971 ban on televised cigarette advertising.

Busch Stadium has no cigarette advertisements, said Jack Croghan, director of marketing for Civic Center, which operates Busch Stadium. Kiel Center also has no cigarette ads, a spokeswoman said, in order to be consistent with its no-smoking policy.

Philip Morris denied that it violated or intended to violate the ban against televising cigarette ads. Nevertheless, the company agreed to move ads for Marlboros and its other cigarette brands away from the sidelines, the player entrances and other areas routinely shown during televised professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey games.

Assistant Attorney General Frank Hunger, head of the Civil Division, said: "The (Justice) department believed there were obvious violations of the advertising ban, some of them flagrant." He mentioned a Marlboro sign at the scorer's table in Madison Square Garden during New York Knickerbocker basketball games.

Philip Morris had been told by the Garden in advance that the sign would be "clearly visible on all NY Knicks cablecasts (and) telecasts emanating from Madison Square Garden as well as on sports news programs," the government said in court papers. The court papers said the Garden later wrote Philip Morris that the ad had received an average of 2 minutes and 43 seconds of TV coverage during Knicks games in November 1993.

After the Garden case was resolved in April, Hunger said: "We discovered a number of other signs at professional sports arenas which we thought had been positioned so as to obtain significant television coverage."

During the 1993 and 1994 seasons, the government said in court papers, Philip Morris' cigarette signs appeared in televised sports coverage in 13 football stadiums, 14 baseball parks and five basketball arenas. …

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