1987: Trone Advertising, Greensboro, N.C., imports the new camel for a U.S. ad campaign for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. celebrating Camel's 75th birthday.
July 1988: McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, adds the line "Smooth character" to Joe Camel ads, extending the character's use beyond the birthday effort.
July 1989: Young & Rubicam, New York, wins the Camel account. The brand's share stands at 3.9%.
1990: Camel market share hits 4.4%.
October 1991: Mezzina/Brown, New York, formed by two former Y&R executives, snatches the $40 million account from their old shop.
December 1991: The Journal of the American Medical Association publishes a study claiming that among 6-year-olds, Old Joe is as identifiable as Mickey Mouse.
March 1992: U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello calls on RJR to dump the camel from ads, saying the character entices young people to smoke.
August 1993: Federal Trade Commission staff recommends Joe Camel ads be banned because of their alleged appeal to kids. In the fall, it considers staff recommendation to sue RJR.
May/June 1994: RJR runs page ads in national newspapers to counter negative media coverage.
June 1994: FTC votes 3-2 to close its investigation without recommending further action.
August 1995: President Clinton blasts Old Joe, saying, "Let's stop pretending that a cartoon camel in a funny costume is trying to sell to adults, not children."
October 1995: Study reported in Journal of National Cancer Institute found 60% of adolescents who had never smoked could name a favorite cigarette ad, with Joe Camel cited most often.
July 1996: A bipartisan group of 67 members of Congress asks the government to reinvestigate the Joe Camel ad campaign.
August 1996: President Clinton formally endorses tough regulations for the tobacco industry. The rules treat nicotine as an addictive drug and revive strict Food & Drug Administration guidelines for tobacco advertising.
March 1997: Mezzina/Brown comes out with new Camel ads that return to the stylized, on-pack Camel. Old Joe continues to appear in some ads and on merchandise.
March 1997: FTC staff once again recommends the commission issue a complaint against Old Joe.
May 1997: FTC expected to issue a complaint that will effectively ban Old Joe.