Altria Seeks Approval for Campaign Comparison Ads

The Altria Group Inc., the parent company of tobacco giant Philip Morris USA, is seeking approval from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run magazine ads contrasting the policies of President Bush and U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, the Associated Press reported May 18.

Altria Group plans to run six ads in BusinessWeek magazine over the summer and fall. The ads would feature the responses by the Democratic and Republican parties on various issues.

Under federal campaign-finance law, corporations are prohibited from contributing to presidential or congressional candidates or spend money on their behalf. The FEC will determine whether the ads fall under the ban or represent permissable voter education.

The FEC ruling is expected within the next month.