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U.S. Supreme Court

Packer Corporation of Utah, 285 U.S. 105 (1932)

Packer Corporation of Utah

No. 357

Argued January 20, 1932

Decided February 23, 1932

285 U.S. 105


A statute of Utah forbids the advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products on billboards, street car signs, and placards, but does not apply to advertising in newspapers and periodicals, this exemption having been introduced to avoid conflict with the commerce clause of the Federal Constitution as construed by the state's highest court. A billboard company was convicted for displaying a poster advertising a brand of cigarettes. Both poster and cigarettes were manufactured outside of the state and shipped into it by a foreign corporation, and the advertising was done under contract with an agency in another state. It was conceded that the regulation of the local sale and advertising of tobacco products was within the police power of the state.


1. The amendment exempting advertising in newspapers and periodicals to avoid conflict with the commerce clause, did not produce a discrimination violative of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 285 U. S. 108.

2. It is a reasonable ground of classification that the state has power to legislate with respect to persons in certain situations, and not with respect to those in a different one. P. 285 U. S. 110.

3. The discrimination between billboard and newspaper advertising was not an arbitrary classification. The legislature may recognize degrees of evil, and adapt its legislation accordingly. Id. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 285 U. S. 106

4. In making it illegal to carry out the contract under which the advertising was being done, the statute does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, since the subject of the legislation was within the police power of the state. P. 285 U. S. 111.

5. In preventing the display, for intrastate advertising, of posters shipped in from another state, the statute does not impose an unreasonable restraint upon interstate commerce. Id.

78 Utah 177, 2 P.2d 114, affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment affirming a conviction for displaying a billboard poster advertising cigarettes. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 285 U. S. 107

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