Record fines for cigarette promotion

BUDAPEST: Spar Austria is among three companies to have received record fines for their part in an illegal cigarette promotional campaign in Hungary, according to a report in the Budapest Times. Counters manned by promotional staff were installed around the country as part of a sales drive for Pall Mall cigarettes. Customers could receive gifts such as branded lighters and mugs for buying a certain quantity of cigarettes. The Hungarian National Consumer Protection Agency decided the activity constituted cigarette advertising, which is illegal in Hungary. It fined Spar HUF70m (£195,000), cigarette manufacturer BAT Pécsi Dohánygyár HUF300m (£836,000) and marketing company HPS HUF100m (£279,000).