AGs in 8 states announce $207 billion tobacco pact

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Eight attorneys general today announced a $207 billion national settlement of state tobacco lawsuits, and one of them said a provision banning cartoon characters will force Philip Morris Cos. to abandon its current Benson & Hedges campaign from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, featuring cigarettes acting as people. The pact also requires tobacco marketers to eliminate outdoor signs not attached to stores, eliminates giveaways of merchandise containing brand names and limits most tobacco companies to a single sponsorship each year. The state officials said the four major cigarette companies and the largest smokeless tobacco company, U.S. Tobacco Co., had signed on to the pact, as had one smaller tobacco company, but the final fate of the pact won't be known until Friday, when it can be seen how many other attorneys general sign on to it.

Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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