Times Staff and Wire Reports

Joe Camel Will Be Off Billboards--for Now: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has decided to remove cartoon pitchman Joe Camel from its billboards at least through the end of the year. Anti-smoking activists have attacked the cartoon figure as too appealing to children. Reynolds continues to reject that argument and will keep Joe Camel in print advertisements and other promotional materials, RJR spokeswoman Peggy Carter said. For the time being at least, Joe will be replaced on billboards by a new icon: a neon-outlined version of the mustard-colored camel featured on the brand's packs for decades.

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