ASA Adjudication on Gallaher Ltd

A tobacco company ad included an email from the UK Department of Health saying that “there isn’t any hard evidence” to show that plain packaging of tobacco products is effective. Below the email the ad stated: “WE COULDN’T HAVE PUT IT BETTER OURSELVES” followed by the name of the tobacco company. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the ad was misleading. The ASA ruled that the ad implied that no real evidence existed to support the introduction of plain packaging at the time the ad appeared in 2013; however, the email was written in 2011. The ASA noted that because evidence did exist to support the introduction of plain packaging in 2013 the ad was likely to mislead. The ASA ordered the company that the ad must not appear in current form again.