Chicago Sun Times Case Study

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Chicago Sun Times Facing the music Leaders fuming over hip-hop smokes BY JOHN HUSTON STAFF WRITER Local lawmakers and activists are applauding Attorney General Lisa Madigan's decision to sue a tobacco company for allegedly targeting children as new customers with hip-hop theme packs of cigarettes. Madigan announced Thursday a lawsuit against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. for targeting Illinois children with 101,000 hip-hop theme packs of cigarettes in gas stations and convenience, grocery and liquor stores since April, in violation of a 1998 nationwide settlement agreement. Madigan said she will seek an immediate ban on B&W hip-hop products as part of its "Kool Mixx 2004" advertising and promotional campaign; a court order requiring B&W to counter the effects of its ad campaign, including requiring the company to run ads warning about the dangers of tobacco use in publications read by young people; and $11.7 million in penalties and costs to Illinois. "Many people think children begin a lifetime of addiction when they pick up their first cigarette," Madigan said. "In fact, it may be when they pick up their first Kool Mixx CD-ROM or log on to the House of Menthol. "Any parent who looks at CD-ROMs with graffiti games, tiny Mixx Stick radios and cigarettes…show more content…
The Kool Mixx special edition cigarette packs, the Kool Mixx CD-ROMs, the Kool Mixx goody bags and the Kool Mixx Stick radios violate the master settlement's ban on tobacco name merchandise. While most, if not all cigarette packs display a brand name, the Kool Mixx packs had a series of designs, that when collected, can be pieced together to form a puzzle or mural. Thus, B&W created a reason for consumers -- particularly children who like to collect -- to purchase the packs. Additionally, the Mixx Stick Radios and the House of Menthol's Telephone Line lead users back to the Kool Mixx brand

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