Letter from William Orrick, Jr. of Arnold, Fortas & Porter. Refers to discussions on proposed cigarette advertising code and industry's request for immunity from criminal prosecutions under anti-trust law. Acknowledges industry establishment of advertising standards and possible FTC and House interstate commerce committee intervention. Affirms that until views of Congress and FTC are known, no criminal anti-trust prosecution will take place, although sanction will not be given until such bodies have addressed matter.
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Paul A. l~orter, Esquire
Arnold, Fortas ~ l~orter
]229 Nineteenth Street, I~. W.
Washington, D. Co ~0036
Dear Ivir. Porter:
This will refer to your letter of April 27 and the subsequent
discussions We have had pertaining to your request for "confirmation
from the Department that the signatory companies will not be
prosecuted or sued under the antitrust l~ws by reason of their
adherence to '°a proposed Cigarette Advertising Code. We understand
from the subsequent conversations that what is presently sought Is
immunity from criminal prosecution alone.
We note that the Code Administrator is apparently supposed
to enforce and in part establish atandards for advertising dealing
with the public health hazards, We also note that the Federal Trade "
Commission is presently considering the establishment of such
standards and that the House Interstate Commerce Committee is
about to hold hearings concerning a number of hills which would
establish such standards. Such proceedings will undoubtedly cast
additional light on what standards are appropriate and whether they
should be enforced by a public agency or by private action.
Under these circumstances it would be inappropriate for ue
to give any sanction to the permanent establishment of a private ~
• organization setting lniustry standards until the v~ewe of Congress
and the Federal Trade Commission have been made known. In the
meantime, however, we assure you that no crin~i~al antitrust
prosecution will he brought by us as a result of adherence to the
Code, This commitment on our part should not be taken to represent
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a judgment that the Code will iu fact reduce the health hazards
resulting from smoking or lessen the appeal o~ cigarette advertising
Assistant Attorney Genera~
H. Thomas Austern| Esquire
Covington & ]~urllng
701 Union Trust Bu~Iding
Washington 5m Do Co
]~obert L. Wald, Esquire
Wald, Harkrader & l~ocke£eller
808 Seventeenth Street~