The Government has told the advertising industry it has little to
fear from its plans to ban tobacco promotions.
While ministers admit the proposed ban will have an impact on the
industry, they claim agencies and poster contractors will be able to
limit the damage by finding alternative clients.
The Government’s first statement on the impact of a ban dodges the issue
of whether jobs will be at risk and will disappoint those working on
A report to MPs from the Department of Health said: ’The period between
now and the date the ban comes into force (November 2000) should enable
companies to find alternative clients. The creative success of tobacco
advertising campaigns will ensure that those responsible remain
The report said tobacco accounts for 10 per cent of poster companies’
revenue and up to 40 per cent for some smaller outdoor companies.
’Given that the tobacco industry is already limited in where it may
advertise, tobacco manufacturers are often prepared to pay for prime
sites. These sites would be equally attractive to other clients,’ the
Following Tory criticisms that Labour had failed to spell out the
effects of a ban on UK industry, the statement was rushed out on the eve
of a crucial meeting on Thursday of European Union health ministers
concerning the EU’s directive to outlaw tobacco advertising.
Prospects of an agreement rose when the UK dropped its demand for an
indefinite opt-out for Formula One racing. But Government officials said
many issues remained unresolved and the meeting was ’too close to