Canada urged to exempt foreign brands from tobacco law

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A major Canadian motorsport sponsor wants an "international exemption" to Canada's sweeping new law banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship.

Under new regulations now before the Canadian Senate for approval, no tobacco logos or brand elements of any kind would be able to be displayed at motorsport events in Canada. Indy race sponsor Molstar Sports and Entertainment - the division of Molson Breweries that markets Molson Indy races in Canada - is asking that the rules be loosened to allow promotion of foreign tobacco products not sold in Canada. It is eager that its races attract sponsorship funds.

Molstar says the law "reaches beyond Canadian borders" and the sponsor has asked to plead its case before the Senate committee studying the new rules. "Logos of tobacco products not produced or retailed in Canada, which appeared to be exempt from the restrictions. . . will now effectively be banned," says Molstar president Brent Scrimshaw.

Several senators have predicted that the law, known as Bill C- 71, will be sent back to the Canadian Parliament for revisions.

Tobacco companies in Canada spend about $87 million a year on sponsorships and related promotions.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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