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RJR NOT SWEATING IT OUT REGARDING NASCAR VISIBILITY
Published June 21, 1995
The U.S. Justice Department is not saying whether NASCAR will be the next target in their evaluation of cigarette advertising, according to Tom McCollister in Atlanta. What is "still to be determined" is whether the Justice Department is targeting brand identification, such as Marlboro signs during telecasts, or the cigarette sponsorship of NASCAR's Winston Cup and National Hot Rod Association Series. Officials at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., who produce Winston cigarettes, say they "have had no contact" with Justice officials, but believe they are not in violation of the law banning tobacco ads from TV. RJR spokesperson Nat Walker: "The (brand name) Winston is almost always used in contact with NASCAR. It doesn't stand alone. ... We are not overly concerned." But McCollister writes that if the government should "come down" on RJR, both NASCAR's Winston Cup and the NHRA "would be severely affected" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/21).