BREWERS BEWARE? TOBACCO LIMITATIONS MAY JUST BE THE START
If President Clinton's proposed tobacco regulations go into
effect in a year, it "will probably drive cigarette advertisers
out of sports," according to Richard Alm in the DALLAS MORNING
NEWS. Since the government banned TV ads more than 20 years ago,
and last year forced in-stadium tobacco signage to stay clear of
TV cameras, Alm notes "most sports have already weaned themselves
from cigarette makers' money." He adds NASCAR is a "red-hot
property, quite capable of finding another corporate Daddy
Warbucks to keep it going." Alm writes beer, however, "is quite
another story" as the brewing industry is one of the "financial
pylons" supporting American sports, as beer companies sponsor
nearly every sport. Beer companies are also a major supporter of
sports on TV. Alm notes that the Clinton Administration "hasn't
yet" targeted the connection between beer and sports, "but it's
hard to see how the mindset that wanted cigarettes out of sports
could allow beer to stay in." If Washington decides to try and
take beer out, "it will create more havoc than the decision to go
after the cigarette companies" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/26).
ONE MAN'S TAKE: ESPN's Keith Olbermann on NASCAR's tobacco
advertising: "Spokesmen for the tobacco industry will actually
sit there and tell you with a straight face that their
sponsorship of NASCAR, an estimated $10 million a year by R.J.
Reynolds alone, is not done to evade the 26 year-old ban on
cigarette ads on TV. It's just a coincidence that painting
advertising and logos on stock cars and ballparks fences is the
only way that cigarette companies can get their products shown or
mentioned on TV, live or on highlights shows such as this one.
Just a coincidence" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/26).
A START OR FINISH? Philip Morris Europe said it was
withdrawing its sponsorship of the McLaren Formula One auto-
racing team, three years after it won its last championship.
German tobacco company Reemtsma will take over sponsorship for
its West cigarette brand (Montreal GAZETTE, 8/27).