I've got a whole city to hold down

July 22, 2004

AG Madigan vs OG smokes

Following up on a story we reported recently about the controversy surrounding this weekend's Mixx National DJ battle, hosted by Kanye West and Slick Rick (that is, it's part of a cigarette-marketing campaign aimed at African-Americans and young people):

Seems the battle has been joined. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan yesterday announced that the state is filing suit to curb the Brown & Williamson tobacco giant's hip-hop blitz.

From the AG's press release: "Madigan said she will seek an immediate ban on B&W hip-hop products targeting Illinois children and teenagers as part of its 'Kool Mixx 2004' advertising and promotional campaign; a court order requiring B&W to counter the effects of B&W’s ad campaign, including requiring the company to run ads warning about the danger of tobacco use in publications read by young people; and more than $11.7 million in penalties and costs to Illinois."

New York and Maryland have also taken legal action against the Brown & Williamson campaign.

Update: The B&W/Mixx tiff is the subject of David Jakubiak's hip hop column in the Sun-Times. We're sure the cigarette maker is horrified that its brand name is mentioned no less than seven times in the article - and implied in the headline.