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[toronto] City officials have pressured outdoor advertising company Mediacom to remove tobacco ads from transit shelters that Mediacom leases from the city. Mediacom removed the ads even though the company says its agreement does not give the city the right to ban a category of advertising.

Tobacco advertising in Canada was declared legal in a Supreme Court of Canada ruling several months ago, reversing a 1988 ban. Despite the ruling, some cities have independently decided to ban tobacco ads from venues where they receive revenue.

[brussels] Advertisers are forming an alliance of Brussels lobbyists to help fight hostile legislation in the wake of recent failures to convince policy makers of the justice of their cause. The group is being launched under the wing of the World Federation of Advertisers.

A reorganization of the marketing industry's lobbying activities had been expected. Recent debates by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on a proposed broadcasting law for Europe highlighted the industry's inability to put its case to policy makers.

Malcolm Earnshaw, WFA president, said the new effort will be "driven by the specific interests of advertisers who have most at stake in view of the current threats to commercial communications."

[toronto] The new V-chip technology to screen out violence in television programming "is not a panacea," said the World Federation of Advertisers, and broadcasters-not governments-should be responsible for program classifications.

Director General Bernhard Adriaensens said the WFA's recent official position on the V-chip does not support violent or pornographic programs, but places responsibility on broadcasters "to recognize the standards that parents expect" and to implement protection.

[warsaw] A ban on tobacco advertising in Polish broadcast media, cinemas, and in youth and children's publications went into effect May 1.

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