People of the State of California v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
- Case Date: 6/7/2004
- Project Name: Criminalization of Free Enterprise - Business Civil Liberties Program
On June 9, 2004, the California Supreme Court issued an order declining to review a lower court decision that imposed significant sanctions on a company for engaging in nonmisleading commercial speech. The decision was a setback for WLF, which had filed a brief urging that review be granted. WLF argued that the First Amendment protects a company's right to engage in such advertising and that tobacco companies have never agreed to waive such rights. California sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. for allegedly "targeting" youth with its advertising, based on evidence that Reynolds places advertising in magazines (such as Sports Illustrated) with up to 25% Youth readership. WLF argued that Reynolds may not be sanctioned for its advertising in the absence of evidence it purposely intended to target Youth; mere knowledge that some Youth would see its ads is not sufficient to sanction non-misleading speech, WLF argued.
More Information and Downloads:
6/7/2004: Download the Brief