Clarion secures PR remit for Gallaher

Tobacco giant Gallaher, the firm behind the Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut and Mayfair brands, has switched its trade PR account from b2b communications to Clarion Communications as the industry faces increasing restrictions on marketing.

The account involves boosting Gallaher’s profile in trade titles such as

Convenience Store and Asian Trader Magazine. It also involves promoting the Weybridge-based firm’s presence at trade events.

The agency reports to Gallaher trade comms manager Jeremy Blackburn. Clarion board director Melanie McIntosh heads the account.

B2b joint MD Shirley Braithwaite said the agency declined to pitch ‘largely because we felt opportunities to develop creative trade PR activity were becoming increasingly limited’.

Clarion will take over the account in the new year.

The agency-selection process, which, according to Blackburn, involved ‘numerous’ agencies, was aided by the AAR Group.

Gallaher makes almost half of its profits in Britain, with a market share of around 39 per cent. The firm and rival Imperial control more than 80 per cent of the UK market.

The cigarette market is becoming an increasingly tough one given government clampdowns on smoking itself and associated brand-marketing activity.

The Government opted a fortnight ago to phase out smoking in public places in England over five years.

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