Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Announces $150,000 Settlement With R.J. Reynolds Regarding Cartoon Cigarette Ads

March 26, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today that the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) will pay the state $150,000 to settle his lawsuit alleging a 2007 Camel advertising spread in Rolling Stone magazine used cartoons in violation of the master tobacco settlement.

            The company also agreed to end its “The Farm: Free Range Music” campaign, which Blumenthal alleged in his December 2007 lawsuit violated the tobacco agreement’s ban on cartoons in cigarette advertising. The agreement prohibits cartoons and because they entice children and teenagers to smoke.

            “This settlement plows under R. J. Reynolds’ ‘The Farm’ campaign, which we charged flagrantly violated the ban on marketing cigarettes with cartoons,” Blumenthal said. “This campaign improperly employed cartoons to sell cigarettes, enticing kids into addiction, illness and early death. These ads hark back to the insidious and disingenuous ‘Joe Camel,’ the cute and cool cartoon character designed to appeal to kids. Like ‘Joe Camel,’ this campaign used cartoons to make smoking appear ‘cool’ and desirable. The truth: cigarettes are uncool and deadly.

“Big Tobacco must absolutely adhere to the settlement, especially the vital ban on marketing to children. I will continue to vigorously and vigilantly enforce the tobacco settlement to safeguard the public -- especially children -- from the deadly ravages of smoking.”

The ad spread, which included a four-page fold out poster, appeared in the 40th anniversary edition of Rolling Stone dated November 15, 2007.

RJR denied that the ad campaign violated the agreement and made the payment to cover the state’s legal costs.