Tobacco Company JTI Slam Second ASA Ban on Advertising Campaign

Benson & Hedges plus Silk Cut cigarette brand owner JTI is hitting back against the decision of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban its second advertising campaign in recent months - they have stated that the ruling goes against "common sense and sound evidence".

The advertising watchdog based their ban on the fact that JTI claiming standardised packaging (if introduced by the Government) will only add to the perceived rise of illegal cigarette's in the UK is not valid.

This has been backed by Cancer Research UK - the charity responded to JTI's second national press campaign lobbying against Government proposals to introduce plain pack cigarettes by saying the claim that "the black market in tobacco is booming" in one ad and that "standardising packs will make them easier to fake and cost taxpayers millions more than the £3bn lost in unpaid duty last year" in another were misleading and could not be proved.

Meanwhile, JTI has defended both statements by saying it is a "well-established fact" that illegal cigarettes are a "major, global problem". They also insist that the £3bn figure was taken from official HMRC reports.

Paul Williams, JTI's UK Head of Corporate Affairs commented: "Whilst we will not publish the advertisement in question again, we disagree with those who appear to wish to close down this debate by challenging the semantics of our statements rather than the substance."

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