* FDA demands marketing strategy, ad concepts
* New law bans 'light' and 'mild' labels
By JoAnne Allen
WASHINGTON, June 17 U.S. regulators demanded on
Thursday that cigarette maker Philip Morris turn over all
market research material on Marlboro Lights, citing concern
over an advertisement for the brand.
In a letter to Philip Morris parent company Altria Group,
Inc (MO.N), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was
concerned about advertisements, or "onserts," attached to packs
of Marlboro Lights.
A U.S. ban on promoting cigarettes as "light," "mild" or
"low" takes effect on Tuesday. The ban is a key provision of a
new federal law that gives the FDA authority to regulate
"By stating that only the packaging is changing, but the
cigarettes will stay the same, the onsert suggests that
Marlboro in the gold pack will have the same characteristics as
Marlboro Lights, including any mistaken attributes associated
with the 'light' cigarettes," the FDA letter read.
Altria must submit by July 30 all materials related to the
marketing or sale of Marlboro Lights, including themes,
creative recommendations and dissemination strategies, the FDA
Altria spokesman Bill Phelps said, "We received the letter
today and we're reviewing it and we will respond."
The anti-smoking group Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said
the FDA action would prevent Philip Morris from evading the
"This will give the FDA the information it needs to take
additional enforcement action if Philip Morris does not pull
the onserts," the group said in a statement.
(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Peter Cooney)