Tobacco Giant Drops Print Ads for 2008

RJ Reynolds says Rolling Stone flap not an issue in decision
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 28, 2007 3:27 PM CST
A Marlboro cigarettes advertising billboard on a street.   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – RJ Reynolds won’t buy print ads next year, a break with the tobacco giant's tradition of using newspapers and magazines to reach customers, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The announcement came the same day an anti-smoking group lambasted RJR and Rolling Stone for four pages of ads abutting a Nov. 15 pullout, designed with a cartoon motif, on indie rock.

RJR said it wouldn’t have advertised if it had known of the cartoon-like design, and Rolling Stone said editors “don’t see the advertising” before designing layouts. Critics say the ad placement and layout is reminiscent of youth-oriented "Joe Camel" ads banned in 1990. “It is outrageous and irresponsible,” said one. Rolling Stone says 13% of its audience is under 18.