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August 23, 2006 / Toby Dayton

Tobacco Ruling Will Help Prop Up Declining Ad Revenue For Daily Newspapers

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that cigarette makers violated racketeering laws. But due to an appeals court ruling that said that remedies must be ‘forward-looking’ rather than penalties for past actions, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the tobacco companies to publish “corrective statements” in newspapers detailing the adverse health effects and addictiveness of smoking. Too bad that the average reader of daily newspapers in the U.S. is 53, making the order worthless in reaching younger smokers and potential smokers. As well, given the steadily declining readership of daily newspapers, the audience for those corrective statements is far smaller than could otherwise be obtained through other media channels. The tobacco companies must be chuckling at their good fortune in being forced to apologize publicly through ads that fewer and fewer people will see. If they can stall long enough, maybe no one will see them.

[tags]Big Tobacco, Tobacco Lawsuits, Tobacco Advertising, Average Age of a Newspaper Reader, Insane Court Orders, Crazy Judges, Courts Helping Newspapers, Court Mandated Advertising, Death of Newspapers[/tags]