Time Inc., ‘Newsweek’ Selectively Ban Tobacco Ads

NEW YORK Newsweek and Time Inc.’s Time, Sports Illustrated and People have agreed to eliminate tobacco ads from copies distributed to grammar, junior high and high schools, according to the New York Attorney General’s office.

“This is a major success in our continuing efforts to reduce the marketing of tobacco products to children,” said Eliot Spitzer, New York Attorney General. “I want to applaud Time and Newsweek for joining this effort and helping to remove tobacco advertisements from the school library editions of these magazines.”

In 2003, the U.S. Attorneys General reached an agreement with several major tobacco companies to eliminate their ads from special “classroom” editions distributed to schools. Tobacco firms arranged for “selective binding” agreements with publishers to ensure their ads would not appear in issues distributed in classrooms.

Many school libraries subscribe to the regular editions of the magazines, rather than the classroom versions, however, so children reading the library editions remain exposed to tobacco ads. A New York State Department of Health Survey of 223 New York middle and high schools found that more than 70 percent of school libraries had copies of the four magazines with tobacco advertising.

The new agreement now ensures that tobacco ads will also be eliminated from regular issues distributed to school libraries. Time Inc. and Newsweek will begin offering “selective binding” agreements to all tobacco advertisers beginning this summer.

“Just as we did in 2003, we continue to make our best efforts to address the important issue of not exposing children to tobacco advertising,” said a Newsweek representative.

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