R.J. Reynolds -- the Thoughtful Tobacco Company

Tobacco company R.J. Reynolds is running print and TV ads against the proposal that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulate tobacco products. The bill would also ban candy-flavored cigarettes. The TV spot (at right) shows a vaudeville plate spinner, and says that the FDA has enough on its plate already without this extra burden. "But the bill tries to address that concern by establishing a new center for tobacco regulation within the F.D.A. It would be financed by tobacco industry fees projected at more than $5 billion over the next 10 years," reports the New York Times. To complement the ads, Reynolds launched www.fdaconcerns.org, through which people can contact their Congresspeople to voice their opposition to the proposal. As CMD previously reported, Reynolds competitor Philip Morris has come out in favor of FDA oversight. There's a good reason: "Analysts contend that the bill could benefit Philip Morris over its smaller competitors. By imposing tighter restrictions on advertising, the new regulations could make it harder for Reynolds to market Camel -- No. 3 in the United States market -- against the industry's top seller, Marlboro, which is made by Philip Morris."