Brown & Williamson
Violates Master Settlement Agreement in Albuquerque
[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]
Contact: Scott Goold, CCAA
June 22, 1999
Albuquerque (CCAA) -- A billboard owned and updated by Brown & Williamson
tobacco company located in Albuquerque is in violation (see image below)
of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). Members of the CCAA and MASCOT
(Multicultural Advocates for Social Change On Tobacco) discovered the billboard
Monday, June 21st. The coalition members do not know how long the billboard
advertisement has been in place.
Plateau Convenience Store
2124 San Mateo NE in Albuquerque
Coalition members spoke with the attendant-on-duty at the Plateau Gas
and Convenience store about the billboard. The gentleman was unaware that
the advertisement violated the law. He was cooperative and gave us the name
and phone number of the store's manager.
Nick Spilca, manager of Plateau Gas and Convenience store, called the
CCAA headquarters shortly after the visit. He told us that he does not own
the billboard or have control over the content. He stated that the Brown
& Williamson tobacco company owns the billboard.
The CCAA received a call from Glenn Smith, New Mexico Attorney General's
office. Mr. Smith is forwarding our information to the national Attorneys
General review board.
The MSA specifies that any outdoor advertising may not exceed 14 square
feet. It also states that ads less than 14 sq. ft. may not be placed in
proximity to each other as to form a "mosaic" or larger image.
This practice is referred to as "tiling" (see example #1 below).
Tiled Image on Billboard -- Violation of the MSA
Due to the efforts of the CCAA, the local tobacco control coalition MASCOT, and
the New Mexico Attorney General's office, Brown & Williamson agreed to remove the
advertisement. The spot was displayed for about 6 weeks.
The CCAA asked that Brown & Williamson be penalized for their violation
for the recently signed settlement. We made a simple and common-sensical request. We
asked that tobacco control representatives be allowed to run a counter tobacco
advertisement for a period of twelve weeks. As such, we would have received two
days of advertising for every day Brown & Williamson violated the agreement.
In a letter received August 11th, Glenn Smith reported
to the interested parties that the Attorney General's office was not prepared to take further
action against Brown & Williamson. While we are happy this incident is resolved, we are
thoroughly disappointed the NM Attorney General's office is unwilling to stand up to
Brown & Williamson.
Keep in mind that each day an estimated 1,300 Americans die from tobacco-related
illnesses and disease. In the six week period that Brown & Williamson ran their spot,
another 57,000 U.S. citizens died. This body count is greater than the total number of
deaths attributed to the Vietnam Conflict. We have now build a memorial to honor our War
Heros, yet we continue to patronize big tobacco.
The tobacco industry provided the terms of the MSA, and they demanded that states sign the
document without sufficient time for leaders and the public to review the terms. There can be
no tolerance for violations of the settlement, particularly since the public received so
To review the New Mexico Attorney General's office response, click on the pages listed below:
Page One [27K]
Page Two [7K]
1999 -- All Rights Reserved|