R.J. Reynolds to pay Conn. $150,000‏

Nick Rees Mar. 26, 2010, 3:42pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - The state of Connecticut will be paid $150,000 by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to settle a 2007 lawsuit about an advertising spread in Rolling Stone magazine that used cartoons in violation of the master tobacco settlement, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has announced.

The settlement comes as a result of a 2007 Camel advertising spread in the pages of Rolling Stone. In addition to the payment resulting from the advertisement, R.J. Reynolds also agreed to end its "The Farm: Free Range Music" campaign.

In a December 2007 lawsuit, Blumenthal alleged the company violated the tobacco agreement's ban on cartoons in cigarette advertising. The agreement bars the use of cartoons as they may entice children and teenagers to smoke.

"This settlement plows under R. J. Reynolds' 'The Farm' campaign, which we charged flagrantly violated the ban on marketing cigarettes with cartoons," Blumenthal said. "This campaign improperly employed cartoons to sell cigarettes, enticing kids into addiction, illness and early death. These ads hark back to the insidious and disingenuous 'Joe Camel,' the cute and cool cartoon character designed to appeal to kids. Like 'Joe Camel,' this campaign used cartoons to make smoking appear 'cool' and desirable. The truth: cigarettes are uncool and deadly."

The ad spread included a four-age fold-out poster and appeared in the 40th anniversary edition of Rolling Stone.

R.J. Reynolds denied that the ad campaign was in violation of the agreement and made the payment to cover the state's legal costs.

"Big Tobacco must absolutely adhere to the settlement, especially the vital ban on marketing to children," Blumenthal said. "I will continue to vigorously and vigilantly enforce the tobacco settlement to safeguard the public - especially children - from the deadly ravages of smoking."

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