for Violations of Master Settlement Agreement:
Concerns Focus on Targeting Youth in Kool Promotions and Advertising
May 15, 2004
"A few weeks ago I spoke to a group of teenagers in Juneau and told them they have to make a choice about whether to use tobacco and I told them to `kick butts,'" said the Governor. "There is no choice when it comes to tobacco, especially where our kids are concerned. We're onboard with enforcing the settlement and it is my hope that through this support the tobacco company in question will do the right thing."
According to a B&W press release, Kool Mixx 2004 was designed to celebrate "urban Hip Hop culture." It features events in 10 states as well as retail and consumer promotions, including special edition thematic cigarette packs, an interactive Kool Mixx CD/CD ROM, and a MixxStick compact radio.
The attorneys general allege
that aspects of the Kool Mix campaign unlawfully target youths
by using Hip Hop themes on cigarette packaging and in retail
displays and by featuring young DJs and dancers on the CD/CD
ROM. The cigarettes, displays and radios are being sold in drug
stores, convenience stores, and gas stations, places where teenagers
frequently shop. The CD/CD ROMS have appeared in magazines with
high youth readership, such as Vibe and Rolling Stone.
The attorneys general also informed Brown and Williamson that the contents of the Kool Mixx CD/CD ROM, which includes music recordings, interviews and videos of DJs, dance performances, and video games, violates the MSA prohibition against tobacco products in the media. In addition, they stated that the CD/CD ROM and the Kool Mixx Stick Radio violate the prohibition against brand name merchandise.
"We expect Brown & Williamson to abide by the terms of the agreement," said Renkes. "The letter expresses the attorneys general willingness to discuss the issues with Brown & Williamson. How we proceed from here depends largely on how this company responds to the letter of notice," said Renkes.
Source of News Release: