Tobacco giant threatens $20B lawsuit over plain packaging

Global Business

The world’s biggest tobacco company and two governments of the European Union are squaring up for a battle over branding.

Both the parliaments of Britain and Ireland are planning new laws to impose plain packaging for cigarettes. In response, the makers of Marlborough cigarettes are threatening a $20 billion lawsuit.

Tobacco giant threatens $20bn lawsuit over plain packaging

Tobacco giant threatens $20bn lawsuit over plain packaging

The world's biggest tobacco company and two governments of the European Union are squaring up for a battle over branding. Both the Parliaments of Britain and Ireland are planning new laws to impose plain packaging for cigarettes. In response, the makers of Marlboro cigarettes are threatening a $20 billion dollar lawsuit.

Public health is the driving force for the governments of Britain and Ireland. Planned legislation in the two countries to follow the Australian model — imposing plain packaging and graphic health warnings.

For Philip Morris International, the makers of Marlborough cigarettes and the world’s biggest tobacco company that amounts to the destruction of a brand. Marketing leaders say in legal terms at least, they have a point.

The British and Irish governments argue the laws are in the interest of public health.

A U.K. government review concluded plain packaging could reduce the number of children who start smoking. But Philip Morris maintains it’ll protect its intellectual property rights with a $20 billion lawsuit.

Meanwhile in the U.S., two tobacco giants are joining forces in attempts to withstand a decline in the industry. Reynolds American, maker of Camel cigarettes, is buying Lorillard, which makes the brand Newport menthols.

Reynolds American buys rival Lorillard for $27bn

Reynolds American buys rival Lorillard for $27bn

In the U.S., two tobacco giants are joining forces to help withstand a decline in the industry. Reynolds American, maker of Camel cigarettes is buying Lorillard, which makes the popular brand Newport menthols.

For more on the future of tobacco industry, CCTV America spoke to Dean Crutchfield, a brand, marketing and innovation expert.

Impact of proposed Reynolds-Lorillard merger

Impact of proposed Reynolds-Lorillard merger

For more on the future of tobacco industry, CCTV America spoke to Dean Crutchfield, a brand, marketing and innovation expert.