Under recently-introduced tobacco sponsorship controls tobacco sponsored “world” sporting events will be allowed to continue for slightly longer than any others. But what is a “world event”?
Topic: Sponsorship, Tobacco
Who: British Darts Organisation, Embassy Cigarettes
When: March 2003
Where: United Kingdom
The UK government has told the World Darts Organisation that it must terminate Imperial Tobacco’s sponsorship of the Embassy World Championships immediately.
Why this matters
Tobacco advertising and sponsorship are now generally banned in the UK under the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002.
However, under the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Sponsorship) Transitional Regulations 2003, certain longstanding sponsorships are permitted to continue until 30 July 2003, subject to various conditions. Additionally, certain “exceptional global events” can carry on enjoying tobacco sponsorship until 31 July 2005 (again, subject to some conditions).
The definition of an “exceptional global event” is pretty narrow – “an event or activity that takes place in at least two continents and three sovereign States”. This means that Formula One and World Snooker get a reprieve until 2005.
However, under the transitional regulations the “exceptional global event” exception only applies to sponsorships where “the amount spent on sponsorship pursuant to the agreement in the 12 months ending on 11th July 2001 was to the value of at least £2.5 million”. The Embassy Darts sponsorship is only worth approximately £500,000. Although this is a significant sum of money for the darts industry, it falls quite a bit short of the required threshold, and “The Embassy” now faces being unceremoniously stubbed out.
25 March 2003
Nick Johnson is a partner in Osborne Clarke’s City of London office, specialising in sponsorship, marketing and advertising law. He is also a board director of the European Sponsorship Consultants Association.