Toy retailers risk breaking new law

Toy retailers are being warned the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Brandsharing) Regulations 2004, which come into effect at the end of next month, could have serious implications for them. Many UK retailers of replica mini motorbikes and juvenile racing bikes may be unaware that they are at risk of breaking the law.

The majority of “mini motos” sold in the UK include stickers as decoration. These mimic the branding that is allowed on racing bikes and Formula One cars, and some products include stickers for tobacco brands including Camel and Marlboro. While this is not yet illegal in the UK, the law changes on July 31 and many retailers are unaware of the changes and the consequences for them.

The tobacco companies say the manufacturers of these products use their names and logos without permission and without licensing agreements. They add that this is a very delicate area that they are continuing to address.

A Trading Standards spokesman says any infringement of the law would be the responsibility of the retailer and that it is up to them to ensure the products they sell meet any legal requirements.

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