Posted by Abe Sauer on June 5, 2013 11:37 AM
Alcohol product placement is in the spotlight (again) thanks to a new study by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center that found alcohol brand placement "was found increasingly in movies rated for youth as young as 13 years." This increase, the study says, is "despite the industry's intent to avoid marketing to underage persons."
The study took as its material 1,400 box-office hits released in the United States between 1996 and 2009. The study further looked at the before and after effect of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) on tobacco—which restricted tobacco product placement—and compared it to results from the self-regulated alcohol product placement business.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2013 05:38 PM
For generations, millions have enjoyed the unique pairing of coffee and cigarettes. Of course, in the past few decades, the health risks of smoking and being exposed to cigarette smoke have become more evident and many local governments and establishments have taken action to ban smoking from public and private areas. Now, one of the globe's most influential retailers is taking a strong stance against tobacco.
As of June 1, cigarette smoking was not only banned inside any Starbucks, which has been true for some time, but it is also banned in the outdoor seating areas as well as within 25 feet of more than 7,000 of its US and Canadian locations, the Los Angeles Times reports. Around 4,000 other Starbucks, some of which are located in Targets and Barnes & Nobles, are not effected by the new mandate.
“We’re pretty optimistic that people will be supportive and at the very least cooperative,” Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley said, the Times reports.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 31, 2013 03:32 PM
The Camel cigarette brand has long been the subject of scrutiny over its ad tactics. Its controversial cartoon mascot, Joe Camel, was abandoned in 1997 after a 10-year run as ad watchdogs feared that he would entice youngsters. Back in 2010, the brand got some grief for introducing Camel Orbs, a mint-like tablet that contains ground tobacco with cinnamon or mint flavoring. The tablets could have been easily mistaken for candy by kids, but the product remains on the market today.
Now Camel is getting another round of rage from such folks as the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and a few other health organizations for a new ad that they feel is going against the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement that prohibits tobacco manufacturers from advertising to kids, according to the Associated Press. The group has sent a letter to Tobacco Committee Co-Chairs of the National Association of Attorneys General to ask them to investigate.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2013 02:50 PM
Cigarette warning labels haven’t changed a bit in the last 30 years, despite lots of data being unearthed in that time on the dangers of smoking and plenty of efforts by the government and consumer groups to have those labels changed. The main reason no change has occurred is because of the undying efforts of Big Tobacco’s legal departments.
Those departments took a hit Monday when the Supreme Court rejected Big Tobacco’s efforts to challenge a 2009 federal law “that requires graphic warning labels on cigarettes and expanded marketing restrictions on tobacco products,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
This doesn’t mean that smokers will soon be carrying around cigarette packs with gruesome images such as a sewn-up cadaver, a crying woman who apparently has lung cancer, smoke coming out of a man’s trachea, and other such unpleasant sights. It will take time to get new images approved and they will likely go through their own legal challenges along the way. Plus, last August, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit “ruled that the proposed labels violated the tobacco industry's free-speech rights under the First Amendment,” the Journal reminds. The Obama Administration later said “it wouldn't mount a further legal defense of the labels, leaving the agency to consider new proposals."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 3, 2013 06:06 PM
It’s been in the hands of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and now it’s in the hands of a slew of lawyers. The Cuban Cohiba, considered for decades to be the nation’s best cigar and a symbol of high-end swank the world over, has been spending a fair amount of time in court over the last 16 years.
In that time, the issue has been between the General Cigar Co. and Cubatabaco, the Cuban state tobacco company. The pair have been battling over the cigar’s trademark in the United States. Recently, the U.S. Trademark and Appeal Board dismissed Cubatabaco’s petition that was trying to keep General from using the cohiba name in the United States, Cigar Aficionado reports.
That General won the latest round did not sit well with folks in Cuba, where the Havana Times headlined its story about the case with “Cuba’s Cohiba Trademark Theft Gets OK.”
There are, of course, two different cohibas.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 26, 2013 04:17 PM
Cigarette buyers in Uruguay, Thailand, Australia and about 35 other countries and jurisdictions all have to deal with nasty images on the packs that remind them of just how unhealthy smoking can be. But the FDA, despite years of trying, can’t seem to get the same thing done in the United States.
Last week, the agency abandoned its long battle to put such images on packs as it faced an April 5 deadline of whether to appeal a court ruling that favored Big Tobacco. Don’t think the plan is totally dead, though. The FDA will “undertake research to support a new rulemaking consistent with the Tobacco Control Act," MedicalDaily.com reports.Continue reading...
long arm of the law
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2013 12:29 PM
When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg steps down from his current job on January 1 of next year, he might want to go find employment with a vice squad. Bloomberg was dealt a recent blow when his move to stop New Yorkers from purchasing oversized sodas was struck down by the court, but never one to give up, he's now got his eyes on controlling cigarette sales in the Big Apple.
The mayor on Monday introduced proposed legislation that would require New York cigarette sellers to hide cigarette packs from consumers so the brands aren’t given any free advertising and consumers don’t break down at the point of purchase and pick up a few smokes. The mandate is similar to one recently proposed in Singapore, to the dismay of Big Tobacco.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 11:48 AM
Australia’s smokers had to start purchasing cigarette packs with extremely graphic images on the front last December, which did not sit well with the world’s Big Tobacco companies, whose lawyers have been set loose to try and repeal the Aussies' anti-smoking efforts. Now, New Zealand is ready to enact a similar effort that will remove branding from cigarette packages and sell them with plain wrapping.
New Zealand, however, won’t push forward with the practice until it sees how all that legal wrangling works out for its larger neighbor.
“This announcement demonstrates that the New Zealand government recognizes the significant international trade issues with standardized packaging and will not implement it until the pending international legal challenges to Australia’s law are resolved,” Philip Morris said in a statement. “There is no credible evidence that standardized packaging will lower smoking rates, but strong evidence that it will jeopardize jobs, benefit the black market for cigarettes, and is a breach of international trade rules that have already made Australia’s policy subject to WTO action.”
The WTO actions were set in motion by a few nations that happen to be—surprise!—big producers of tobacco: Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia.Continue reading...