Government reveals European timetable for tobacco ad ban

UK tobacco advertising would be banned from 1 November in 2000 under the European Union’s directive, the Government revealed this week.

UK tobacco advertising would be banned from 1 November in 2000

under the European Union’s directive, the Government revealed this

week.



The timetable would give agencies, poster companies and the press

another year to find other clients. Sponsorship of sport and the arts

would continue for two more years until November 2002, according to the

directive. British ministers are seeking a longer reprieve for Formula

One racing but look set to drop their original demand for an indefinite

exemption.



Tessa Jowell, the public health minister, told MPs in a memorandum that

the latest draft of the EU directive recommended a two-and-a-half year

implementation period after it is adopted formally by EU health

ministers.



The earliest likely date for adoption is 30 April next year, although

this could slip by a few months if there are prolonged negotiations

between ministers and the European Parliament.



Sponsorship would be phased out over four-and-a-half years to give sport

and the arts time to find new backers. Indirect advertising would also

be banned after four-and-a-half years.



Jowell said efforts has been made to minimise the cost to those

industries, such as advertising, which would be ’unintentionally

affected’ by the ban on tobacco ads.



’The ad industry and poster, press and print media will be affected to

some degree,’ Jowell said. ’The two-and-a-half year implementation

period should enable companies to find other clients.’



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