Three agencies challenge DoH over EU tobacco directive

Three advertising agencies have criticised the European Union’s (EU) proposed ban on tobacco advertising, with one questioning the Department of Health’s (DoH) competence to handle the directive in the UK.

Soup, Lowe Lintas and Mustoe Merriman Levy, all of which work for tobacco companies, argue in written submissions to the DoH that the directive is a health – rather than trade – measure and as such does not fall under the remit of the EU.

Soup chairman Nicholas Balmforth questions the DoH’s involvement, arguing that it has “neither the inclination nor the knowledge” to examine the directive on what he describes as “spurious” trade grounds.

The news follows the European Parliament’s questioning of the directive in November on the same grounds (MW November 29). The last directive banning tobacco ads across Europe was annulled by the European Court of Justice because its legal basis was flawed.

Of the 54 written responses to the DoH consultation paper on the directive, 32 supported the directive, eight opposed it, while 14 had no firm view. No ad agencies wrote to support the directive.

The DoH estimates that UK tobacco companies spend £130m a year on tobacco ads and promotions. Of this, £50m is spent on press and poster ads, £70m on Formula One, £8m on sports sponsorship and £7m on direct marketing.

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now