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FIREPOWER: Whether it was Liggett Group's admission about tobacco's addictiveness or this month's court ruling overturning proposed federal ad rules, tobacco stories elicited a disproportionate amount of media attention.

For a one-month period leading up to this column, the FDA tobacco ad rules generated 159 individual print and electronic media stories, totaling 114,524 words of copy and 18.5 minutes of network news time.

The next biggest story of the month, promotional ties to golfing phenom Tiger Woods, earned only 75 stories in the SPINdex sample of influential media outlets.

The break up of Cordiant into three spinoffs placed third with 38 stories, while a controversial move by Web advertiser General Motors Corp. to serve its own banner ads ranked fourth with 30 stories.

Always a SPINdex favorite, Coca-Cola Co. earned fifth place with 15 stories about its new "Always Coca-Cola" commercials.

Mr. Mandese is senior VP of Myers Reports. Mr. Weiner is VP of Medialink Research.

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