A ruling has finally been made on the plan submitted by tobacco companies to place ads that apologize for misleading the public about the dangers of smoking. Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court said that the revised plan can go ahead. Only problem is that only 13 black newspapers were added to the new version of the plan.
Prior to this, Judge Kessler told the tobacco firms to revise the media buying plan after it was revealed by Target Market News in January that not one black media outlet had been included in the original plan, which had been approved by the U.S. Justice Dept. Following this discovery, briefs highlighting the omission of black media were submitted to the court by The National Newspaper Publishers Association and The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.
Originally, the tobacco firms planned to place full-page ads in the Sunday editions and websites of 34 daily newspapers. There were also prime time ads planned to air on three television networks — ABC, CBS and NBC. No radio stations were included in the original or revised media plan. The ad buys would cost the tobacco firms approximately $40 million.
Judge Kessler sent the original plan back to the firms after learning of the omission of African-Americans media.
The 13 black newspapers added are Arizona Informant; Denver Weekly News; Inner-City News (CT); Gary Crusader (IN); Louisville Defender; Insight News (Minn.); St. Louis American; Omaha Star; Ohio City News; Black Chronicle (OK); Portland Skanner; Seattle Skanner; and Milwaukee Courier.
According to the latest numbers available on the American Lung Association website, about 5.6 million (21.3 percent) of non-Hispanic blacks smoked in 2008, compared to 22 percent of whites. On average, white men smoke more cigarettes than black men by a significant amount (30 to 40 percent), but black men are 34 percent more llikely to develop lung cancer. Black women smoke less than white women, but have comparable lung cancer rates.
So it’s clear that African Americans can use this smoking message as much as any other group.