ASH in dock over spoof tobacco ad

Imperial Tobacco is threatening to sue anti-tobacco group ASH over trademark infringements after producing a spoof of its cigarette brand Embassy, called “Emphysema”.

The lobby group produced a postcard showing the mock brand as part of its recent change of corporate identity. Twelve cards were launched at the same time as ASH unveiled its first poster advertising (MW July 19).

The postcard shows a packet of “Emphysema” cigarettes with an offer of “free lung cancer with every packet”. Other cards play on existing brand advertising, with one mocking Silk Cut ads.

So far Imperial is the only tobacco manufacturer to have threatened legal action. A company spokesman says: “We have sent a letter concerning the unlawful use of our trademark and until ASH responds we decline to comment.”

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