01 September 1998

TOBACCO COMPANIES have been warned by the government that it could implement a ban on cigarette brands extending into hitherto unrelated product areas. The warning was prompted by the recent revelation that Gallaher is planning to test market a coffee under the Benson & Hedges brand in in the UK. The Department of Health will take a close interest in any branding similarities between coffee and tobacco products and, although there is no specific ban on indirect advertising, action could be taken under European law if a pack logo so resembles that of tobacco products that it could be seen to be promoting the latter.