Silk Cut owner rolls out phase three of anti-plain packaging work

Silk Cut's manufacturer has kicked off the third phase of its campaign against plain cigarette packaging today with an ad questioning whether the Government has any evidence it will work.

Gallaher ad: questions whether plain cigarette packaging is deemed effective
Gallaher ad: questions whether plain cigarette packaging is deemed effective

The ad shows that in a response to a Freedom of Information request about the effectiveness of plain packaging in 2011, the Department of Health said: "There isn’t any hard evidence to show that it works".

Gallaher, which includes Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut among its brands and is part of tobacco giant Japan Tobacco International (JTI), is campaigning against Government plans to force cigarettes to be sold in plain packages.

This latest ad will run in a selection of national print titles over the next fortnight. The ad was created by Big Al’s Creative Emporium.

Last month, Gallaher had three ads challenging the Government's proposals for plain cigarette packaging banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, after complaints from ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) and Cancer Research.

The ASA found the ads were "misleading" and lacking "substantiation".

Jorge da Motta, the managing director of JTI UK, said: "We are using this media campaign to demonstrate that in 2011, even the Department of Health accepted that these proposals are not supported by any hard evidence.

"We hope common sense will prevail and that the Government will disregard this proposal, before embarking on a process which will do nothing more than deprive the Treasury of much-needed revenue and make hundreds of millions of pounds for the criminals who manufacture, distribute and sell illegal tobacco products.

"We have always argued that plain packaging will not prevent children from smoking, but enforcing existing initiatives such as ‘No ID, No Sale’, punishing those who buy tobacco on the behalf of children and cutting the illegal supply chain, can work."