HC Deb 10 July 1962 vol 662 cc1135-6
23. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Postmaster-General if he intends to publish the terms of the recent agreement reached between the Independent Television Authority and the tobacco industry on cigarette advertising on television; and when the new code will come into operation.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Miss Mervyn Pike)

My right hon. Friend is publishing a note on the agreement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The new rules are already in operation, and all of the advertising will be in line with the new rules by about the middle of next month.

Mr. Robinson

Is the Minister aware that this modest advance is welcome so far as it goes? Is she further aware that there is not yet much evidence on the screens that the code is in operation? Is the hon. Lady satisfied that the Independent Television Authority will rigorously apply the code?

Miss Pike

I am satisfied that the Authority will rigorously apply it. The hon. Member must watch and see.

Mr. Mayhew

Will tobacco advertising feature in the discussions between the Postmaster-General and the Authority, which were promised in the White Paper, on the content of advertising? When will these discussions begin?

Miss Pike

The hon. Member can be assured that the discussions between my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General and the Independent Television Authority will be very wide-ranging. I cannot state the actual contents of the discussions, but they will take place as soon as possible.

Mr. Lipton

Is the hon. Lady aware that this agreement is just another smokescreen put up by the tobacco manufacturers and advertisers between them and that all these proposed modifications are really not worth a light?

Following is the note: The Authority has concluded its review of cigarette advertising in the light of the Report of the Royal College of Physicians: and, with the support of its Advertising Advisory Committee, has asked the programme companies to secure modifications that will include the avoidance of those aspects of the advertising which could reasonably be taken to make a special appeal to young people. Neither the Authority nor its Advisory Committee think it reasonable to be so discriminating as to use their powers to exclude all cigarette advertising from Independent Television alone. Action has already been taken by the tobacco industry voluntarily to withdraw all cigarette advertising until about 9 p.m. The Authority is now securing modifications of the advertising so that in the future there will be no advertisements that can be seen clearly to come within the following broad classes:—

  1. (1) Advertisements that greatly over-emphasise the pleasure to be obtained from cigarettes.
  2. (2) Advertisements featuring the conventional heroes of the young.
  3. (3) Advertisements appealing to pride or general manliness.
  4. (4) Advertisements using a fashionable social setting to support the impression that cigarette smoking is a "go-ahead" habit or an essential part of the pleasure and excitement of modern living.
  5. (5) Advertisements that strikingly present romantic situations and young people in love, in such a way as to seem to link the pleasures of such situations with the pleasures of smoking.