SWISHER CONTACTS CABLE TV ABOUT AIRING ITS CIGAR ADS: AGENCY ADMITS ITS SOLICITATION 'NOT GOING WELL'

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Swisher International, which claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of cigars, wants to run cigar ads on cable TV.

The company, through agency Morgan & Partners, Jacksonville, Fla., has contacted a number of cable networks inquiring about running the spots. Swisher's brands include King Edward, Bering and La Primadora, among others.

In a letter, a copy of which was obtained by Advertising Age, Morgan & Partners wrote, in part: "Our agency is working on the marketing communications plan for 1998 and we would like to consider national cable television networks as a media option. We do buy radio networks, and it is legal to advertise cigars on television."

POLICIES AGAINST ADS

Most broadcast and cable TV outlets have policies against cigar advertising. Cigarette ads specifically have been banned by law from TV and radio since 1971.

"It's not going well," said Ken Cook, the Swisher account group manager at Morgan, when asked about the solicitation of ad time. "Our timing seems as bad as it could be."

He was referring to the recent agreement between tobacco companies and state attorneys general aiming to limit cigarette ads.

No cable network has agreed to run cigar ads, Mr. Cook said. He said CNN told him the network had two problems with the idea-"They were concerned from a legal

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