A Sorry Situation
Will retailers now have to apologize for selling legal products?
A recent ruling ordering a multimedia blitz stating that the nation's largest tobacco companies lied about the dangers of smoking left open the possibility that retailers could be required to post large displays with the mea culpas.Apparently so, because they're running out of targets...
Retail trade groups are upset about the possibility the displays would commandeer their most valuable selling space and imply their own guilt-by-association.
Retailers estimate the industry could lose $82 million per year in sales for every square foot of counter space taken up by the signs. The public health groups, however, said that would average out to only about 65 cents per day per retailer, according to court filings.
"If the government and the legal system wants to do something to the tobacco companies, do it to the tobacco companies," said Larry Southard, who opened Papa's Healthy Food & Fuel in western Massachusetts in 2004. "I don't know why they'd take it to that level when there are so many laws in place, there's so much information (about the health impacts of smoking) already, what is the purpose? To punish the retailer now?"