Court Rules R.J. Reynolds Violated Ad Agreement

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According to Courthouse News, the Washington Court of Appeals has ruled that tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds violated their contract with 46 states to stop the use of cartoons in advertisements.

The four-page advertisement in question was featured in the Nov. 15, 2007 issue of Rolling Stone, but some, including courts in Ohio and Maine, are not convinced that the collage-style advertisement is actually a cartoon.

In line with the final court ruling, Judge Anne Ellington disagrees with the Ohio and Maine courts.

"Under a blue sky in a pastoral Eden, roosters hitch rides on floating tractors, speakers grow out of the ground and radios fly," Ellington wrote. "This is in a world where the natural laws do not obtain, where cancer and serious health problems can cease to exist."

R.J. Reynolds refutes liability because they did not know that the advertisement would containt cartoon images and they are not responsible for the editorial content.

While the court did agree with this, they still ruled that the advertisement had violated the master settlement agreement. The appellate court is now considering appropriate action against the company.

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