A ban on tobacco advertising in Britain could be implemented “by the end of 2002” say UK government ministers.

At present, a bill to outlaw such advertising is in passage through the House of Commons. If passed, the government is confident the legislation can be implemented by the close of this year.

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotions Bill – supported by the government after its introduction into parliament by an opposition MP – will ban tobacco ads in print, on posters and online. It will also forbid sponsorship of domestic sporting events by tobacco firms, prevent the promotional giveaway of cigarettes and restrict the use of tobacco logos.

However, the bill faces opposition from Germany, which recently filed an official complaint against the legislation, arguing that it violated free-trade rules [WAMN: 12-Jul-02].

Under European Union law, Britain has three months to respond to the complaint. Any extra delay this causes could jeopardise the bill – if it is not passed by the end of the current parliamentary session, the process will have to start again from scratch.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff