Tobacco advertising

- the warning on the wall

Ross Denton

Germany's likely self-regulation turnaround, the UK's first statutory tobacco labelling rules, and new EC health warning proposals (maybe including 'smoking causes addiction') ...

There have been several notable developments in the area of tobacco advertising in the past few weeks. The first appears to be a result of certain political manoeuvring in Germany. Following on from the unification of Germany, and the recent national elections, responsibility for the administration of provisions relating to tobacco is to be divided between several ministries, rather than one as previously.

Apart from jurisdictional squabbles, the main result of the division has been the opening of negotiations between the federal government and the associations dealing with tobacco and advertising with a view to tightening up the self regulatory rules on tobacco advertising. This is a worrying sign for tobacco advertisers since, as previously observed, Germany has been a strong ally of the UK in resisting a movement away from self regulation. The possibility that the German federal government may be seeking to place its relationship with the tobacco industry on a more formal footing leads me to the second development, that of the issuing by the UK Department of Health of draft regulations on tobacco labelling.