FTC abandons Joe Camel action

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The Federal Trade Commission today formally announced dismissal of the case the FTC staff filed against Camel cigarettes' Joe Camel ads. The FTC staff earlier moved to abandon the case after R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. signed a pact with attorneys general that limits tobacco advertising and bans cartoon characters. RJR, which dropped Joe in advertising more than a year ago, had continued to fight the FTC case, arguing the agency had no statistical evidence to back its charge that Joe either caused kids to smoke or to smoke more, and couldn't take action without it. The commission said today that another reason it dismissed the case was that the government is now going to gather better information about underage brand share itself. Mezzina/Brown, New York, handles Camel.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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