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AAF CONDEMNS NEW YORK MTA TOBACCO AD BAN

 AAF CONDEMNS NEW YORK MTA TOBACCO AD BAN
 WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- American Advertising


Federation president Wally Snyder denounced a vote today by the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to ban all tobacco advertising from that city's buses and trains. Snyder called the decision "unconstitutional, unfair, and uneconomical."
 The MTA board of directors held a hearing today to consider a proposal to reduce tobacco advertising on city busses and trains by 50 percent. The board chose to go beyond that proposal and ban tobacco ads altogether.
 "Studies from all over the world show this type of censorship does not effect consumption what so ever," Snyder said. "This will accomplish nothing but economic hardship."
 Snyder was particularly upset about the way the vote was handled. Fourteen witnesses were allowed to testify -- 13 in favor of the ban, one, from the New York Chamber of Commerce, against. "They even chose to ignore the warnings of their own staff that such a ban risks a violation of the First Amendment," Snyder said. The Supreme Court has ruled truthful advertising for lawful products is protected by the First Amendment.
 "Advertising professionals and attorneys skilled in First Amendment law were on hand but given no chance to speak out against the proposal," Snyder said. Dan Troy, a First Amendment attorney with the Washington law firm Wiley, Rein and Fielding was prepared to testify at the hearing on behalf of the AAF.
 The board did not take into consideration the economic impact of their decision either, Snyder said. "This will cost them as much as $4.5 million in ad revenue, which will most likely have to be made up through a fare increase. This will also have a ripple effect through out the already-struggling New York advertising industry, and there is little doubt jobs will be lost.
 "This sets a dangerous precedent. If tobacco ads are banned today what's next? This ruling puts the freedom to truthfully advertise any legal product at risk."
 The American Advertising Federation is the only national association encompassing and representing all aspects and disciplines of the advertising industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AAF serves its 52,000 affiliate members by representing their views and concerns on public issues affecting advertising. AAF also serves to promote a better understanding of advertising among the public, in government, and in education.
 -0- 6/26/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Custer of American Advertising Federation, 202-898-0089/ CO: American Advertising Federation ST: District of Columbia, New York IN: ADV SU:


LR-AH -- NY066 -- 4381 06/26/92 17:12 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 26, 1992
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