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Advertisement that attacked plain packaging was misleading, rules watchdog

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 30 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4900
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against a large tobacco firm over an advertisement that it ran last year about standardised packaging of tobacco products.

The authority issued a ruling1 on 30 July that an advertisement run by Gallaher, the UK trading company of Japan Tobacco International, which opposed the introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products, was misleading and must not be published again.

Anti-tobacco campaigners and charities welcomed the ruling, saying that the advertisement in question was part of a campaign that was “one of the most blatantly dishonest in recent UK advertising history.” Gallaher, however, said that it disagreed strongly with the authority’s decision and had submitted a formal request to Hayden Phillips, the independent reviewer of the authority’s adjudications, for the decision to be reconsidered.

The company ran a series of six advertisements as part of a £2m …

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