The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has started an investigation into the unexpected advertising campaign started by tobacco producer Philip Morris. Advertisements for tobacco and related products are prohibited, but Philip Morris thinks to circumvent that by referring to the right to information.
Philip Morris started a campaign last week with a new website and a full-page advertisement in the Telegraaf. Other media have also been approached for the advertisement. In it Philip Morris points out that millions of Dutch people still smoke and that they ‘have the right to information’.
Philip Morris also says he is in favor of a smoke-free society and has developed a number of smoke-free alternatives himself: cigarettes that do not burn but are heated and therefore are less harmful, because hardly any smoke is released. To the frustration of the company, these products are not allowed to be advertised. The advertising ban on tobacco goes very far: it also includes e-cigarettes and ‘vapor cigarettes’.
That bothers the tobacco giant from Bergen op Zoom. The company believes that the smoker has the right to be made aware that there are less harmful alternatives. Until now, the ‘alternative cigarette’ that Philip Morris produces has not been a great success.
In the current campaign, Philip Morris does not advertise its own-produced ‘heat cigarettes’, but the company does point to the ‘smoke-free alternatives’. The advertisement is also signed with its own company name. To the anger of the Dutch Cancer Society, which sees the so-called ‘information campaign’ by Philip Morris as pure advertising. KWF and other organizations have long warned against the ‘smoke-free alternatives’ because they are also unhealthy and could also attract non-smokers.
The NVWA has already started an investigation into the campaign, a spokesperson said when asked. The results of this will not be forthcoming. “But the ban on tobacco advertising is explained very broadly,” said the spokesman. A possible fine for Philip Morris varies between 45,000 and 450,000 euros.
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NVWA takes a closer look at Philip Morris’ sudden ‘illegal’ tobacco advertising | Inland
Source link NVWA takes a closer look at Philip Morris’ sudden ‘illegal’ tobacco advertising | Inland