SBD/5/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

MADISON SQUARE GARDEN BANS TOBACCO ADS FROM TV SIGHT-LINES

     Madison Square Garden, settling a lawsuit brought by the
Justice Department, "agreed not to display cigarette advertising
where it can be seen in television broadcasts of sporting
events."  Justice sued the Garden claiming that displaying
tobacco ads in such a way is a violation of the '71 law banning
cigarette advertising on TV.  The action against the arena, which
is owned by ITT, "apparently is the first time the federal
government has applied the law in such a way."  Justice's
lawsuit, and the Garden's "consent decree in which it didn't
admit breaking the law," were announced simultaneously.  At issue
was a large Marlboro sign "directly in front of the scorers'
table" during Knicks games.  According to the lawsuit, the
Marlboro sign appeared in TV broadcasts during 40 Knicks games
over the entire '93-94 season, adding up to more than a hour's
worth of TV time.  In its settlement, the Garden agreed not to
display tobacco ads on or adjacent to the playing area or
walkways to locker rooms during televised events.  MSG President
Dave Checketts accused Justice of "grandstanding," contending the
arena already had decided to remove the Marlboro sign -- "not
because of the threat of government action but to comply" with
NBA policy.  A Philip Morris spokesperson said that any TV
coverage of their Marlboro signage was "incidental." Other
arenas/stadiums could come under similar lawsuits.  A Marlboro ad
at Shea Stadium "has come under fire" because it appears in
baseball TV broadcasts; no action has been announced (Wade
Lambert, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/5).  ABC's Peter Jennings also
reported the story (ABC, 4/5).
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