A group of tobacco manufacturers are taking the government to court over new curbs on cigarette advertising at the point of sale.

The tobacco firms -- among them British American Tobacco, Gallaher and Imperial Tobacco -- are seeking a judicial review of the new regulations, which were unveiled last week.

POS advertising is one of the few ways tobacco companies can promote their brands after mainstream media ads were banned outright in February 2003.

But the government now wants to restrict POS promotion to one ad per shop. Moreover, under the new rules this display cannot be bigger than an A5 piece of paper -- and 30% of this must be used for a health warning.

The tobacco firms claim this will hinder the launch of new brands. The government argues it will help reduce the number of smokers.

Data sourced from: Telegraph.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff