FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CIV
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1996 (202) 616-2765
TDD (202) 514-1888
MARLBORO SIGN REMOVED FROM ATLANTA-FULTON COUNTY STADIUM
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Philip Morris Inc. will remove a
billboard advertising Marlboro cigarettes from Atlanta-Fulton
County Stadium after the Atlanta Braves play their last home game
of the season tonight, the Department of Justice announced today.
The sign was placed in such a way that it appeared on telecasts
of Atlanta Braves' baseball games in violation of a law banning
the advertising of cigarettes on television.
Philip Morris has removed other signs from Atlanta-Fulton
County Stadium and from other stadiums in the country in the
The agreement to remove the sign, located in left-center
field, resulted from negotiations among the Department, the
Stadium and Philip Morris, the manufacturer of Marlboro
cigarettes. The agreement ensures that the sign will not appear
on television during Major League Baseball's upcoming playoffs
and World Series if Atlanta appears in the Series.
After receiving complaints about the Marlboro sign appearing on
several telecasts of Atlanta Braves games this season, the
Department advised the Stadium and Philip Morris that the sign
violated the advertising ban and a consent decree entered against
Philip Morris in federal district court last year.
After watching video tapes of games, the Department urged
Philip Morris to remove the sign. Philip Morris did not admit
that the sign violated the law or the consent decree, but agreed
to remove it at the end of the regular season. Atlanta's last
home game is tonight.
This is the second Marlboro sign which has been removed from
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. A Marlboro sign that was even
more conspicuous was removed late last year. Philip Morris also
removed various signs at other stadiums throughout the country
after the Department obtained an injunction against Philip Morris
from the court.
George J. Phillips, Counsellor to the Assistant Attorney
General of the Department's Civil Division, said, "There should
be no association between professional sports and smoking. As a
result of this settlement, kids watching Braves games on
television will not be exposed to the Marlboro man who was
supposed to be kicked off television 25 years ago.
"We are pleased that the sign is gone and hope that all
stadiums will stop renting space for cigarette advertisements not
only for the benefit of kids watching games on television at
home, but also for the young fans who are unavoidably exposed to
these signs when they attend the games," Phillips said.