The tobacco industry has attacked Government plans to restrict point-of-purchase advertising for cigarette brands as “uncompetitive”.
After a range of objections, the plans have gone back for further consultation. Under government proposals, tobacco companies will only be given an A-5 sized space on every cigarette shop unit to communicate to consumers.
However, the tobacco industry has itself been criticised by anti-smoking campaigners ASH for attempting to delay the start of the legislation. Objections to the proposals are likely to push the start date to 2005, much later than the expected start date this autumn.
ASH director Deborah Arnott says: “The tobacco industry is just wasting time, trying to pick loopholes so they can continue to use sales outlets to promote.”
But Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association chief executive Tim Lord says the proposals mean companies will not have space to impart basic information to consumers: “The Government says it wants to give consumers as much information as possible, but makes it as difficult as possible for us to inform consumers about our products.”
Imperial Tobacco marketing manager Peter Manzi says the proposals will make the industry less competitive: “Consumers will not be fully informed about the different brands. New and smaller brands will particularly suffer.”