Tobacco Industry Attacks Anti-Smoking Advertisements

Bernard Stamler reports: "Its advertising is aggressive, and deliberately so. (Remember the body bags piled up outside Philip Morris headquarters in New York?) But although tobacco companies have complained before about the commercials made by the American Legacy Foundation, one company is now formally threatening legal action against the organization, apparently for the first time. The aggrieved company is Lorillard Tobacco of Greensboro, N.C., a unit of the Loews Corporation . It charges that American Legacy, which was created as part of the 1998 settlement between the tobacco companies and 46 states to run antismoking ads, has exceeded its mandate under the settlement by disparaging the tobacco industry. In a letter sent by fax last Friday, Lorillard's vice president and general counsel, Ronald S. Milstein, told Legacy that his company intended to take the foundation to court in 30 days to stop it from 'vilifying and personally attacking tobacco companies and their employees.' "