Industry faces fallout from tobacco ads ban

Up to 1,500 full-time jobs in Britain’s advertising and sales promotion industries could disappear if a Europe-wide ban on tobacco promotion is enforced, according to newly published research.

Up to 1,500 full-time jobs in Britain’s advertising and sales

promotion industries could disappear if a Europe-wide ban on tobacco

promotion is enforced, according to newly published research.



The verdict comes in a survey commissioned by three of the country’s

biggest manufacturers - Gallaher, Imperial and Rothmans - among 150 of

their advertising, design and promotion agencies as well as those

agencies’ supplier companies.



The job loss warning comes as the UK tobacco industry awaits a High

Court ruling on its challenge to the European directive banning

advertising and sponsorship. Manufacturers want the court to refer the

directive to the European Court of Justice for a declaration that it is

illegal and that the EU has no power to introduce such legislation.



The survey aimed to monitor the effect on the UK marketing industry of

the proposed ban, adopted by the EU Council of Ministers in June and due

to begin in 2001.



Now the three companies, which account for almost all tobacco

advertising in the UK and have a combined promotional budget of pounds

57.7 million, estimate that 970 full-time jobs will disappear in

advertising and sales promotion because of the ban.



They also claim a further 390 jobs will be axed in companies supplying

goods and services to the advertising and sales promotion sectors.



Chris Ogden, the executive director for trade and industry affairs at

the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, said: ’We have always argued the

economic as well as social effects of government policy should be

considered.



Not only will the ban cost jobs but it will not reduce cigarette

consumption levels because companies will find other ways in which to

compete.’



But the survey’s conclusions were greeted with scepticism by Action on

Smoking and Health, which claimed its forecast of job losses was

exaggerated.



’The advertising and sales promotion industries have had plenty of time

to adapt,’ an ASH executive said.



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