Philip Morris Germany stops cookie/passive smoking ad

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HANNOVER -- Philip Morris has come under attack from Hannover-based cookie maker Bahlsen for rolling out its controversial passive smoking advertising campaign in Germany. Philip Morris' print campaign which says that passive cigarette smoke is less of a health risk than eating cookies or drinking water was last month banned by a French court following a lawsuit filed by the French National Biscuit association.

On June 24 Philip Morris ran the campaign in German national daily newspapers Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Suddeutsche Zeitung and Die Welt. Bahlsen wrote to Philip Morris and the newspapers asking them not to run the ads again.

On July 9, Bahlsen says, Philip Morris' Munich office informed it that it would not publish the ad that mentions cookies and other products but it would continue with overall an campaign which deals with such issues as smoking in restaurants and the workplace. A spokesman for Philip Morris says the company had only ever planned to run the so-called cookie ad once in Germany.

Bahlsen earlier sought an injunction from a Frankfurt court to block the cookie ad by citing comparative advertising restrictions but was turned down because the court ruled that "there is no competition between cookies and cigarettes."

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