HC Deb 18 December 1995 vol 268 cc933-4W
Mr. Barron

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Harlow (Mr. Hayes),Official Report, column 223, what is the total amount permitted to be spent each year by tobacco companies on (i) advertising, (ii) promotion and (iii) sponsorship; what mechanisms are used for establishing how these amounts are distributed amongst the companies; what sanctions exist for companies (1) exceeding these amounts, and (2) breaking the voluntary agreement in other ways; what systems are in place to verify the information provided by the tobacco industry; and if he will make a statement. [5525]

Mr. Horam

Under the new voluntary agreements which came into force on 1 January 1995, the tobacco companies have undertaken to reduce their expenditure on advertising on media other than TV and radio (TV and radio advertising are prohibited by virtue of the Broadcasting Act 1990) to 30 per cent. in aggregate of the level in the year ending 31 March 1980; with due allowance for inflation, not to exceed on sports sponsorship the level of expenditure in their financial year the greater part of which fell in 1985, and not to spend more than 15 per cent. of their total expenditure on sports sponsorship on media advertising and other promotional material directly related to the events.

The tobacco companies produce annual audited accounts relating to this expenditure so that adherence to the agreements may be monitored. Information contained in these accounts is commercial in confidence.

The tobacco companies have undertaken voluntarily to comply with these principles and have a good record of doing so.

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