INTERNATIONAL TREND POINTS TO TIGHTER AD RESTRICTIONS

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Tobacco marketers may be reeling from the Clinton administration's get-tough plan, but they're not any more welcome in some other countries.

Many countries ban tobacco advertising in general and to youngsters in particular.

Since the beginning of the year, Poland has barred all tobacco advertising in the youth press as well as on state-owned and private radio and TV.

One of the toughest bans is being considered in Canada, where the government may remove the last venue for cigarette advertising: the package itself. Health Minister Diane Marleau last spring declared her intent to require plain packaging on cigarettes. Since then, her department has been reviewing other related issues, including smuggling, contraband and banning legal trademarks.

The Canadian government already restricts tobacco companies to point-of-purchase materials that don't show brand or product graphics. Tobacco companies may sponsor cultural and sports events but may not show brand or product graphics.

B&w health warnings take up 35% of the front panel of the packages. The warnings include such strong statements as "Smoking can kill you."

The sale of cigarettes has also been limited to certain stores, and they may not be sold in pharmacies or in vending machines.

Hong Kong authorities plan to ban tobacco ads in all mass newspapers and magazines and taxicabs by mid-1996. Perhaps to beat the ban, ad spending on tobacco products in Hong Kong soared by 99% in the first quarter of 1995, to $5.3 million.

The City Council of Riga, the capital of Latvia, in June approved a draft of a new charter that includes a ban on the advertising of tobacco and alcohol products on outdoor boards, and public and private transport.

Earlier this year, the Norwegian Legislature amended its 1973 Tobacco Act, which bans direct ads, to cover indirect ads, including all products bearing brand logos.

While restrictions are gaining support elsewhere, the Taiwan government is considering lifting its well-established terrestrial TV ad ban on tobacco (and alcohol).

In April, the French Ministry of Sport agreed to loosen the anti-tobacco and alcohol advertising law. From now on, enforcement will be on a case by case basis, and French brands will be treated the same as foreign brands.

Laurel Wentz and Joanne Ingrassia contributed to this story. Also included is information from Daily World Wire reports.

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