Simon Mowbray
Cigarette paper manufacturer Zig Zag has admitted waging a tit-for-tat battle with Rizla over advertising complaints.
The producer made its astonishing revelation after the Advertising Standards Authority, prompted by a complaint from Zig Zag, this week banned a Rizla ad for containing references to drug-taking.
It was the second time that
Zig Zag had brought Rizla ads to the Authority’s attention.
And following this week’s ruling, the producer admitted waging a vendetta against Rizla brand owner Imperial Tobacco after it landed Zig Zag in trouble twice with the watchdog twice earlier this year. A spokesman said: “Justice has been done at last. We felt our ads should not have been banned and we were looking to redress the balance.
“They started this. If they hadn’t complained about our ads then we wouldn’t have complained about theirs.”
The latest ASA ruling centred on a Rizla treatment which showed a packet twisted at the end like a cannabis joint. The caption ‘Twist and’ was accompanied by a packet of papers with the label ‘BURN +’. Rizla’s ‘It’s what you make of it’ slogan also featured.
Despite receiving no complaints from consumers, the ASA banned the ad because it “could be seen to be condoning illegal drugs”.
Earlier this year, Imperial landed Zig Zag in hot water with the ASA over a consumer press ad captioned ‘smooth skins’, deemed a reference to drug taking, and a trade press ad with the unsubstantiated claim Zig Zag was ‘Scotland’s No 1 Brand’.
Iain Watkins, Imperial Tobacco trade communications specialist, declined to comment on Zig Zag’s actions.