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Court upholds fine on BAT

The Budapest municipal court has upheld a decision in 2007 by the consumer protection Office (NFH) fining the Hungarian unit of British American Tobacco (BAT) HUF 300 million for breaking a ban on tobacco product advertising, daily Népszabadság.

The court said BAT broke the ban when it set up stands outside of Spar and Tesco stores offering smokers who bought their brands inside the stores gifts, such as lighters and coffee mugs.

The NFH also fined Spar Magyarország HUF 70 million and Tesco HUF 40 million for participating in the campaign. It fined campaign organizer HPS HUF 100 million.

The ban on tobacco product advertising, in its original form introduced in 2001, allowed the “display of product at place of sale,” without being more specific. The new advertising act clearly prohibits marketing such as BAT's campaign with Spar and Tesco. (MTI – Econews)