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
Not only will the ban cost jobs but it will not reduce cigarette
consumption levels because companies will find other ways in which to
But the survey’s conclusions were greeted with scepticism by Action on
Smoking and Health, which claimed its forecast of job losses was
’The advertising and sales promotion industries have had plenty of time
to adapt,’ an ASH executive said.