Imperial Tobacco is launching an ultra low-tar version of its best selling value brand, Lambert & Butler.
Imperial claims Lambert & Butler is the first value brand to move into this category. Gallaher’s rival mid-market brand, Sovereign, is only available in a Lights version.
Lambert & Butler Ultra will be positioned to compete head-on with Gallaher’s Silk Cut Ultra premium brand – which costs about 3.42 for 20. Rolling out on October 1, L&B Ultra will undercut this significantly, priced at 2.99 for a packet of 20.
The launch will be supported by a press advertising campaign created by Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy. The new brand variant has a purple diagonal strip across the front of a white and beige striped packet.
The launch of the brand extension comes only a month after L&B’s King Size became the UK’s top-selling cigarette (MW July 16), replacing Benson & Hedges King Size. The value sector accounts for about a third of smokers and has shown considerable growth as tax hikes above the rate of inflation continue to push up the price of cigarettes.