Canadian billboard firm refuses tobacco ads on moral grounds

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TORONTO -- An outdoor advertising company, Murad Communications of Toronto, has decided to stop taking tobacco advertising on its billboards and wall spaces in major cities across Canada. Company President Michael Chesney says that after a one year trial period of running tobacco ads, he will not accept any more. Just over a year ago tobacco advertising became legal after the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a seven year ban.

Chesney says he "has decided that even though the sweet aroma of the tobacco industry green is as smooth as a Havana cigar, the aftertaste is as stale as a tray full o' butts. Quite simply as a moral issue, tobacco is far too addictive and harmful to promote just for the sake of profit."

He also says that he expects it is just a matter of time before tobacco advertising is once again banned as there is a currently a bill before the House of Commons awaiting final approval to do just that.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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