Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Most who know me will know one of my common phrases is, 'I read in the Guardian that...'. This is probably because the Guardian is pretty much the only paper/news site I read. Anyway, this morning I read an interesting article to do with miniature novels in cigarette packets.

Designed by design firm TANK, the concept was simple. To coincide with last years smoking ban they would release a series of popular short & cult novels by classic authors such as Hemmingway, Kafka, & Tolstoy in miniature form in the standard 20 cigarette packet. However what started as an interesting novelty idea to promote reading on-the-go has turned into a law suit with British American Tobacco.

Yes, BAT are bidding to have the books pulped because they 'conflict & damage' the image of their brand. In particular the one causing this 'offence' is Hemmingway's Lucky Strike-esque Snows of Kilimanjaro. Apparently it is BAT policy to protest against anything that resembles their brands due to the laws surrounding advertising tobacco in the UK.

My point on this matter is, wouldn't the novelty cigarette packet novel surely do more to romanticise and perhaps promote use of the brand rather than attempt to demonise it. Perhaps this is all part of BAT's plan, to create a storm of PR around their brands in a favourable light in order to combat the lack of advertising.

I'd like to see if sales of Lucky Strikes are up...


rashbre said...

More fun reading the grauniad than the Torygraf. I was forced into a reading position with the Telegraph yesterday and it nearly melted my brain. If I'd had one of those cigbooks I'd have opened it in a flash.

I like the idea of substitute displacement activity. Instead if striking a match, one can strike a paragraph.

The cynical cigarette lawyers are smoking too much of the product. It'll be interesting to see how long they get away with running 1970s style campaigns in China and to other less suspecting parts of the world.

John Challis said...

Books could be the new nicorette..

A shameless PR stunt it seems, to cash in on the romantic smokers of literature.

How come they've never sued movies for using branded cigarettes?