Canadian tobacco firms protest in ads against new laws

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Canada's tobacco marketers vow to continue an aggressive ad campaign attacking new provincial anti-tobacco legislation.

Law-makers in the province of British Columbia have passed regulations hitting tobacco marketers with a $13 million licensing fee, which the new rules say can't be recouped by a price hike.

Full-page ads from the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers' Council are running in major daily newspapers in British Columbia criticizing the move as simply another tax hike and "a dangerous precedent" of price controls. Handling is McLaughlan Group, Toronto.

Spending could reach $1 million and the council promises to keep up its advertising as long as needed to make its point. "The industry wanted to be part of the debate," says Marie-Josee Lapointe, VP of communications at the council, which represents marketers RJR-Macdonald, Imperial Tobacco, and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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