Tobacco giant aims to help retailers through changes

Imperial continues with legal action but says ‘be prepared’


Imperial Tobacco is launching Partnering for Success, a project designed to give retailers information and guidance about current legislation affecting tobacco retailing including the revised European Union Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD II) and standardised packaging legislation.

Partnering for Success will feature communications designed to advise and support retailers through potential changes. The development comes as the company continues to fight against the changes, which it argues are unlawful.

Duncan Cunningham, Imperial Tobacco head of corporate and legal affairs in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, said: “We believe that both EUTPD II and standardised packaging are unlawful, and continue to fight this legislation through the courts on behalf of our employees, our retailers and our investors.

“However, until the outcome of these challenges is known, as a responsible business we also recognise the need to help prepare our partners for compliance.”

Melvin Ruigrok, the company’s general manager in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, said: “Partnering for Success is all about helping our trade partners navigate any possible changes in the tobacco category. We’ve already started to drive this new platform forward with retailers through initiatives such as engagement evenings, information packs and presentations.

“Partnering for Success reflects our continuing commitment to working together with the trade to secure the ongoing success of the category in a highly regulatory environment. It will also ensure our sales force becomes the go-to source of expertise, authority and reassurance around the EUTPD II and standardised packaging legislation.

“Down the years the tobacco industry and the trade have a long history of working together through changing tobacco legislation, ensuring the category remains both a key footfall driver and profit generator. Partnering for Success continues this tradition, and we’re looking forward to revealing more details in the months ahead and continuing to drive the success of the category.”