J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.

Update: Federal court upholds tobacco warning labels

Federal requirements for graphic warnings on cigarette packaging do not violate tobacco companies’ free speech rights, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The decision by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Cincinnati, contrasts last month’s ruling by Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In his ruling, Leon sided with the tobacco companies that argued the gory labels compel speech violated the First Amendment protections to refrain from speaking.

The grisly warning labels, which feature such images as diseased gums and a body on an autopsy table, are at the centers of two legal disputes. As The Wall Street Journal points out, the Sixth Circuit’s ruling focuses on the overall reach of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the FDA power to regulate tobacco and nicotine, including authority over the industry’s marketing and advertising efforts. The D.C. case focuses on the graphic images, which include diseased lungs; a man exhaling smoke through a tracheotomy hole; a baby surrounded by smoked being kissed by its mother; a man using an oxygen mask; a crying woman; and a man wearing a T-shirt with a “no smoking” symbol and the words “I QUIT.”

The plaintiffs, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard Inc., and other tobacco companies, have appealed the Sixth Circuit’s ruling to federal district court. Court watchers have said the cases will eventually go to the Supreme Court.

EARLIER: FDA releases grisly images for cigarette packages


What do you think of this attempt to deter smoking?


Too much? Not enough?


Update: Federal court blocks new tobacco warning labels

A federal court on Monday temporarily blocked a government plan to cover cigarette packs with grisly warning labels. Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that there is a clear line between “impermissible expropriation” of the tobacco companies’ packaging and “constitutionally permissible dissemination” of information, and ordered the Federal Drug Administration regulation be put on hold until 15 months after a final ruling on the tobacco companies’ lawsuit. Court watchers predict the free-speech case will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

FROM 6-21-2011: Warning labels anything but smooth

In an effort to curb smoking-related deaths, the Food and Drug Administration is revising cigarette warning labels — on “all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States” — to include such images as cancerous mouths, blackened lungs and even a corpse. The FDA on Tuesday released images of the graphic new warnings, which will start appearing in September 2012.

The gory labels are part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which Congress passed in 2009. The act grants the FDA authority over the industry’s marketing and advertising efforts, prompting R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard Inc., and several other tobacco companies to sue, arguing a violation of free speech rights. The companies argued the law interferes with communication with adult consumers, advertisers and other tobacco companies.

Although a judge later struck down part of the federal law — a section banning the use of color and graphics in labels and advertising — most of the act was upheld, including the requirement for new health warnings.

What do you think of this attempt to deter smoking?
Too much? Not enough?

What I’m reading

This is a roundup of tabs I have open while I put off writing and cleaning my office.

  • Wall St. Journal is reporting RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be priced less than $500, which sounds pretty sweet to me. Also reported in the story, data from research firm Gartner Inc. show the global market share of Apple’s iOS software is up to 16.7% in the third quarter, passing Research in Motion’s 14.8%.
  • AdAge is reporting Time Inc. executive Wayne Powers is moving to Yahoo as head of North American Sales, replacing Joanne Bradford, who left Yahoo to join Demand Media in March. Powers will report to Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo veep of Americas (cq) business.
  • The New Yorker asks on Twitter: “Think you know everything about Sarah Palin? Take our quiz!” I did, and I’m surprised that I didn’t score higher than I did. I have to read about this woman all the time. In my defense, I do work nights and I’m happy to say I don’t know JACK about TLC programming.
  • The unbelievably overrated Tina Fey was honored with the 13th Annual Mark Twain Award for American Humor last night at the Kennedy Center. I’m reading about this because I’m often fascinated with celebrities I can’t stand, and because one of my best friends covered the event and wrote a nice piece.

All right, it’s time to close the tabs. There are chores to be done, errands to run.