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U.S. suit hits arena tobacco ads

Published on .

The Justice Department filed a suit challenging Philip Morris USA's advertising in 14 football stadiums, 14 baseball parks and five basketball arenas as violating the ban on televised cigarette advertising. The company has signed a consent decree agreeing to remove the ads from normal viewing by TV cameras. A lawsuit had been expected following the earlier Justice Department suit involving Madison Square Garden advertising.

Philip Morris Tuesday denied trying to bypass the ban on broadcast advertising and said its advertising was aimed at stadium attendees. Not immediately clear is the impact of the decision on auto racing, where both Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds have heavy sponsorships.

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