Tobacco firms join to cut ad spends

LONDON - The world's three largest tobacco companies are thought to be putting a lid on their marketing and advertising spends in the light of impending restrictions currently being drawn up by the World Health Organisation.

Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco are stopping advertising on radio and television in those countries where it is still allowed.

It is also thought they will stop marketing products at young people, which could also see the end of celebrity endorsement for brands.

The three companies control almost half the world's tobacco sales, and their collaboration comes as the WHO continues to negotiate an international framework for the whole industry.