from School Editions of Weekly News Magazines
November 14, 2003
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Philip Morris USA Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. all entered into the agreement to refrain from advertising in editions of the three publications that are headed for classrooms.
"It sends a mixed message to our children when we tell them smoking is harmful and then subject them to tobacco advertising in school," Attorney General Renkes explained. "It is our job to protect our children. We see this as a big victory for children and parents in Alaska and across the country. The new policy will significantly reduce 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
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