Tobacco manufacturers are considering a last-minute appeal against plans to clamp down on in-store advertising.
The move follows a High Court judgment rejecting claims by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association that new restrictions on merchandising material would prevent smokers from making informed choices.
Under the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion regulations, which come into force on December 21, in-store PoS will be restricted to A5 ads on gantries, of which 30% must be devoted to a health warning.
Window bills, cash mats and large, backlit banners over gantries will be banned, prompting concerns from retailers that this could lead to changes in the terms at which manufacturers supply gantries if they are not able to gain the benefits of sponsorship.
The TMA applied for a judicial review of the regulations earlier this year, claiming they would prevent meaningful communication with customers and inhibit competition.
However, its arguments were rejected by Mr Justice McCombe, who said that taken in the context of the wider scheme of advertising restrictions, the PoS regulations were not disproportionate.
Association chief executive Tim Lord said: “We remain very concerned these regulations will prevent smokers from receiving a reasonable level of information about products.”