LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: B&W TAKES ACTION; JOE-LESS CAMEL ADS; VATICAN'S COMMON SENSE

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As an avid reader of Advertising Age, I was, of course, concerned to read your editorial about the Circuit Breaker Web site ("Why is B&W hiding out?" AA, March 3). In response, I'd like to offer several points for your consideration.

The Circuit Breaker Web site is a lawful activity that promotes awareness of entertainment events in the San Francisco Bay area. These events, such as bar nights, by their very nature allow only adults over 21 to attend.

The Web site does not contain tobacco advertising or cigarette logos because we're promoting awareness of events, not cigarettes.

However, to clear up any confusion, I have instructed our agen-cy to add an identifying feature that will clearly inform Web site visitors that Circuit Breaker is sponsored by Brown & William-son Tobacco Corp.

Furthermore, no promotional material will be sent to anyone responding via this Web site before additional safeguards, such as confirming e-mails, are received certifying that they are adults, smokers and consent to be placed on B&W's mailing lists.

The Internet is a new medium where practices and customs are still evolving. We want to be regarded as a responsible participant in that process and have acted accordingly. My thanks to Advertising Age, therefore, for drawing my attention to this issue.

N.G. Brookes

Chairman-CEO

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.

Louisville, Ky.

Editor's note: When Advertising Age visited the Circuit Breaker site last week, Brown & Williamson Tobacco was identified in multiple locations as its sponsor.

Joe-less Camel ads

After months of working to heighten awareness of tobacco advertising that

is directed to children, I was encouraged to see the latest work for Camel cigarettes from Mezzina/Brown ("Old Joe is no-show in new Camel ads," AA, March 10). I was delighted to see that it had dropped the Joe Camel cartoon in its new campaign and is targeting a more mature audience. Clearly Joe Camel has been criticized time and time again as the most blatant offender of advertising that appeals to children.

The new advertising demonstrates that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., through repositioning its Camel brand to an older audience, perhaps has discovered the important balance of selling a legal product and doing so responsibly.

David L. Milenthal

Chairman, HMS Partners

Columbus, Ohio

Mr. Milenthal is a founder of the Initiative on Tobacco Marketing to Children, formed last November to encourage new guidelines for tobacco product marketing.

I was particularly taken by the corpse-like nature of the woman in the new Camel ads. Is that the breath of life leaving her body?

Joe Carey

Ramsey, N.J.

Vatican's common sense

I haven't seen the Vatican's "Ethics in Advertising" handbook either,

but from your brief summary of it ("Pontifical Council sets guidelines for making ads," AA, March 3; "Vatican Stresses need for moral advertising," AA, March 10), it sounds like common sense to me. Not so the puerile comments you collected from industry executives, all of whom strike me as folks who could use whatever ethical guidelines they can find . . .

As for Advertising Age, what sort of jejune journalism is it to solicit comments on a document that neither the interviewers nor the interviewees have seen? Your age (adolescence) is showing.

Kenneth L. Woodward

Senior Writer, Newsweek

Editor's note: The interviewers had seen a copy of the document prior to writing the story.

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