DIARY: End of era as tobacco ads are extinguished

This is how tobacco advertising was stubbed out last week. Not by the much-hyped fat lady singing but by the sweep of a bill poster's brush.

The action played out on a poster site in the east end of Glasgow was being replicated across the country. And it was enough to make every politically incorrect adman reach for his pack of B&H.

Of course, we shouldn't let the smoke get in our eyes. New Labour had committed to a tobacco ad ban long before Cherie Blair picked out the Downing Street curtains.

And this little scene summed it all up as a Lowe poster for Imperial Tobacco's Lambert & Butler, the UK's biggest-selling cigarette brand, got papered over by a new Scottish Executive campaign advocating healthier diets.

So farewell to the surrealism of B&H, Marlboro Country and the "happiness" of a cigar called Hamlet. Of course they had to go. But at the risk of going off message, we have to admit we'll miss 'em. Now who fancies a fag?

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