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ASA Gallaher

Cigarette giant Gallaher campaign claiming there is ‘no credible evidence’ for plain packaging banned by ASA


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

March 13, 2013 | 2 min read

Cigarette giant Gallaher (t/a JTI) has had a series of ads suggesting that there is ‘no credible evidence’ for plain packaging banned by the ASA, following complaints by ASH, ASH Scotland and Cancer Research UK.

One of the three banned ads, created by Big Al's Creative Emporium , read: "The anti-tobacco groups say that plain packs would prevent young people from starting to smoke. So why is there no evidence to support this claim in the Department of Health's consultation? Why, when the same policy was rejected in 2008, due to the same lack of evidence, has nothing credible emerged since?"

Complaints were made that these claims are misleading.

JTI pointed out that the ads did not claim that the proposal had been rejected for all time and said readers would have understood that it was now once again under consideration.

The ASA said: “we considered that readers of the ads would be likely to interpret the use of the word "rejected" to describe that decision as a more categorical action than had in fact been taken.

“We told JTI not to claim that in 2008 the Government had categorically "rejected" the policy of plain packaging for cigarettes, and not to state or imply that the policy had not been introduced at that time because of a complete lack of evidence.”

ASA Gallaher

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