Rothmans Winfield roll-out signals imminent UK launch

Rothmans has launched its cut-price Winfield cigarettes in Eire, positioning the brand as Australian and increasing speculation that it will subsequently be launched in the UK.

Earlier this month, Rothmans announced it would put the Winfield brand on its Formula One Williams team, replacing the Rothmans name in a 30m switch which points to the manufacturer’s ambitions to build Winfield into a global cut-price brand.

Drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen will be dressed in red instead of blue for the 1998 and 1999 seasons, as part of the new branding strategy.

In Ireland, Winfield is being given a unique image as a good value cigarette from Australia, where it is the leading brand.

Tobacco advertising restrictions are tighter in Eire than in the UK so branding communication relies even more heavily on promotional material, such as beer mats.

One mat, distributed in a Dublin pub last week, shows the Winfield brand across a map of Australia and the words: “New Winfield. Not 6p, but 10p less than most other king size” and features a logo of a kangaroo.

A source says: “Rothmans could be trying to associate the brand with the outdoor life – a sort of ‘Marlboro Man’ positioning.”

Winfield is gaining share in the German, Spanish and Benelux markets and was launched in France last year.

No one was available for comment at Rothmans UK as Marketing Week went to press.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here