In one of his first political speeches since formally announcing his candidacy, Mr. Gore last week in Philadelphia disclosed a five-part anti-cancer initiative that would include a push for further restrictions on tobacco ads and a $200 million anti-smoking campaign similar to the anti-drug campaign now being waged by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
NOT ASKING FOR DUPLICATION
However, an aide later said Mr. Gore wasn't necessarily suggesting the government fund an anti-smoking ad campaign if the effort to break this fall from the newly named American Legacy Foundation achieves the balance he seeks in countering cigarette ad messages.
The foundation, formed as a result of the state attorneys general settlement with tobacco companies, is expected to spend between $150 million and $225 million annually on anti-tobacco ads.
In the Philadelphia speech, Mr. Gore also said he wanted to see the Food & Drug Administration regulate tobacco advertising.
"I believe the FDA must maintain its full authority to keep cigarettes away from children," he said. "That means curbing tobacco ads that target our children -- and taking strict measures to prevent children from buying cigarettes. It's time to match big tobacco's advertising campaigns with a national counter-advertising campaign about the dangers of smoking and the risks of cancer."
Mr. Gore also pledged to work to "penalize tobacco companies that market to children."
APPEAL TO HIGH COURT
The Clinton administration is preparing for oral arguments this fall before the U.S. Supreme Court of a challenge by tobacco companies to FDA authority to regulate tobacco. FDA is attempting to limit tobacco advertising with rules -- now on hold as a result of lower court rulings and pending the high court's decision -- that would include barring color or imagery in large magazines or magazines with more than 15% readership by those under the smoking age.
The early appearance of advertising issues in the 2000 presidential campaign could be significant, ad groups said last week.
OTHER CATEGORIES AS WELL?
"The question is whether his position will extend to other categories," said Dan Jaffe, exec VP of the Association of National Advertisers.
To Wally Snyder, American Advertising Federation president, this indicates that government pressure on advertising is unlikely to end with the close of the