DES MOINES. Attorney General Tom Miller said today that the principal tobacco companies whose advertising has appeared in Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report have agreed to the request by the Attorneys General that they remove advertising for their cigarette and smokeless tobacco brands from copies of those magazines that are sent to schools as part of the magazines' school programs.
Miller welcomed the move by Philip Morris USA Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. (each of which will remove advertising from all three publications) and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. (which will remove advertising from Time and Newsweek and doesn't currently advertise in U.S. News and World Report).
"Millions of kids read these magazines in their schools every week," Miller said. "We are pleased that the companies have responded favorably to our request that they discontinue their ads in these school editions, thus significantly reducing the extent to which our children are exposed to tobacco advertising."
The magazines' school programs, known as Time Classroom, Newsweek Education Program, and U.S. News Classroom Extension Program, distribute hundreds of thousands of copies of the magazines to high school and middle school classrooms in the United States each week. For example, about 300,000 copies of Newsweek are distributed to participating classrooms and each copy is read by an average of 3.5 students, representing an estimated total audience for Newsweek's classroom program alone of one million students.
The four tobacco companies had placed approximately 120 cigarette and smokeless tobacco ads in these three magazines from January 2002 through June 2003. Major magazine publishers employ a process called "selective binding" or "copy split," which allows advertisers to place their ads in certain copies of the magazine and not in other copies. In June, the Tobacco Enforcement Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General wrote to the four companies, asking that they make arrangements with the publishers to ensure that their tobacco ads did not appear in the classroom editions. Discussions with the companies ensued, culminating in each company's commitment to eliminate its ads from those editions.
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