New York Times pulls tobacco ads

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The New York Times is becoming the biggest paper yet to pull tobacco advertising. Announcement of the paper's decision to stop running tobacco ads as of May 1 will be in tomorrow's editions. "We will not accept ads for cigarettes, cigars or other tobacco retail products," said a spokewoman at The New York Times, who noted the decision, made by senior management late last week, was part of an evolutionary process. The Times stopped soliciting tobacco advertising actively a few years ago. The spokeswoman said the ban did not apply to event sponsorship. "If a tobacco company wanted to run an ad about sponsoring a music festival, that would be fine," she said.

The Seattle Times has refused tobacco ads since 1993 and Knight-Ridder publications have had limited tobacco advertising since 1995. While The New York Times has had little run of press tobacco advertising in the past year, it has had advertising in free-standing inserts from Valassis Communications and News America Marketing. In addition, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., citing the disappearance this month of out-of-home ads as a result of an agreement with Attorneys General, recently said it was moving advertising dollars to magazines and newspapers.

Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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