Anti-tobacco ad may test pact

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In a challenge to the tobacco companies that fund it, the anti-tobacco American Legacy Foundation on Wednesday broke a controversial ad on Comedy Central surreptitiously filmed inside Philip Morris Cos.' New York headquarters. The tobacco industry liability settlement with the states provides the foundation with $300 million a year for its advertising program, but bars ads that vilify the tobacco industry. The ad that aired on Comedy Central, from Arnold Communications, Boston, and Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, features a woman trying to present a lie detector to the marketing chief of an unidentified tobacco company. She says, "Your company has said that nicotine is not addictive and that it is. We are just trying to get the truth.'' A number of other TV networks rejected the ad. The ad never identified the foundation or state governments as the sponsor. Tobacco company spokesmen said the ad was being studied and declined further comment.

Copyright February 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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