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(The booklet) was sent to 176,800 doctors, general practitioners and specialists . . . (plus) deans of medical and dental colleges . . . a press distribution of 15,000 . . . 114 key publishers and media heads . . . . days in advance, key press, network, wire services and columnist contacts were alerted by phone and in person . . . and . . . hand-delivered (with) special placement to media in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. The story was carried by hundreds of papers and radio stations throughout the country . . . . staff-written stories (were) developed with the help of Hill & Knowlton, Inc. field offices. (Hill & Knowlton memo, May 3, 1954.)

  • 1954-06-07: LITIGATION: EVA COOPER files first tobacco lawsuit; sues R.J. REYNOLDS

TOBACCO COMPANY for her husband's death from lung cancer. He had smoked Camels. Mrs. Cooper's complaint alleged her husband, Joseph, who had died of lung cancer, "to his detriment relied on advertisements doctors considered its cigarettes healthful and that its cigarettes were harmless to the respiratory system." She sought to recover damages for pain and suffering and death of her husband. The document which follows, a decision handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, on May 24, 1956, overturned an earlier decision by the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts which dismissed the earlier, rewritten complaint. "[T]he defendant filed certain interrogatories with reference to allegations in Counts V and VIII that Joseph Cooper had relied upon representations in certain newspaper advertisements and television and radio broadcasts to the effect that "20,000 doctors say that 'Camel' cigarettes are healthful" and that such cigarettes "are harmless to the respiratory system". The interrogatories requested the plaintiff to state, as to each such representation upon which Joseph Cooper relied, the name and date of the newspaper publication and the name and date and identification of the television and radio programs. In response to these interrogatories, the plaintiff answered that the earliest newspaper advertisement upon which Cooper relied was published in the Boston Globe on or about March 12, 1951, and repeated in advertisements thereafter, to the effect that a nationwide survey indicated that "More Doctors Smoke CAMELS than any other cigarette." . . . On November 21, 1957, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment accompanied by an affidavit by the chairman of the board of directors of the defendant company and by an affidavit by the president of the defendant's advertising agency. The latter affidavit read in part: "No copy for advertisement of any kind for Camel Cigarettes was furnished for publication by any newspaper or other publication or by radio or television during said period [19511953] containing the words '20,000 doctors say that "Camel" Cigarettes are healthful' or '"Camel" Cigarettes are harmless to the respiratory system', or containing other words with the same meaning." No opposing affidavits were filed by the plaintiff.

It is apparent from the uncontradicted affidavits, and from the plaintiff's answers to defendant's interrogatories, that there was no genuine issue of fact properly to be submitted to a jury, and therefore that the trial judge committed no error in entering a summary judgment for the defendant as permitted by Rule 56, F.R.C.P. 168 F.Supp. 22. This is entirely apart from the fact that our credulity would indeed be strained by an assumption that a fatal case of lung cancer could have developed in such a short period after the alleged smoking by Cooper of Camel cigarettes in reliance upon representations by the defendant in the various forms of advertising." http://www.tobacco.org/resources/documents/560524cooper.html

  • 1954-07-26: PROPAGANDA: NCI Dr. W.C. Hueper's talk, "Environmental Cancer of the

Lung," is given at the VIth International Cancer Congress in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Hill & Knowlton, having received an advance copy of Dr. W.C. Hueper's talk, and finding it favorable to their cigarette clients, deploy the 17 page text, with 2 pages of highlights and a cover letter, to newspapers and services, science writers, editorial writers and feature writers.


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