SMOKELESS TOBACCO COMPANY PULLS MAGAZINE ADS

Massachusetts Accuses UST of Targeting Children

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., under fire from lawmakers and health officials for targeting teens in its advertising, today pulled ads from a variety of soncumer publications pending a review.

UST's decision, coming one day after a California court fined cigarette maker R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. $20 million for targeting youth in its magazine ads, follows a recent report from the Massachusetts Department of Health stating UST's magazine ads targeted children.

The magazines affected

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by the pullout are Sports Illustrated, Hot Rod, Motor Trend and Sporting News.

"We feel that we are in full compliance with the Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement," Richard Verheij, UST's executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

UST, Greenwich, Conn.-based maker of brands including Copehagen and Skoal, in 1998 signed the agreement that included marketing restrictions.

"Nonetheless, in light of the report issued this week in Massachusetts and other developments, we are being responsive to the concerns raised and have decided to suspend advertising," Mr. Ferheij said.

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