A Review of Cigarette Marketing in Canada - 6th Edition - Winter 2007


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Even More Trade Mark Tracking

Web-technology now allows almost instant access to Industry Canada’s data base of trade-marks. Check it out yourself!

Trade-mark registration gives insight into the marketing intentions of Canada’s tobacco companies. If new marketing measures are on the horizon, there's a strong likelihood that trade-marks are involved.

So what can we guess from the registrations of 2006 and 2007?
Below are selected filings for Japan Tobacco/JTI-Macdonald, BAT-Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans, Benson and Hedges, Philip Morris,


    Japan Tobacco - JTI-Macdonald

Does Japan Tobacco think the tobacco wars will end in infinite peace?

Japan Tobacco filed an application in February 2007 for a new cigarette trademark. The version of this brand sold in Japan includes a dimpled filter (thought to be used for visual aesthetics, not taste).



More and more links between tobacco and alcohol.

Not long after we focused on getting smoking out of bars, we face the cross marketing of alcohol and tobacco products.  Japan Tobacco has already launched the marketing of 2 of the 3 liquor-flavoured cigarettes which were trade-marked in 2007.


Less Smoke-Smell may only be a mirage

In other countries, Japan Tobacco has launched Camel brand and other cigarettes using a flavourant in the wrapping paper to disguise the smell of sidestream smoke.  In Canada they launched a new brand, for which the trade marked was filed in October 2007.



Is this in character for Japan Tobacco?

Sakura (cherry blossoms) is a brand marketed in Japan using traditional calligraphy and stylized paper packaging. Trademarked in Canada in October 2007, it is not yet for sale.  Perhaps they are saving it as a spring offering....


SAKURA & Design

Simply camel

When a brand mark is well identified, words aren't needed on the package.  Last year Rothmans, Benson and Hedges launched a wordless Marlboro brand, perhaps Japan Tobacco is NATURAL FLAVOR & Camel Design (Orange)prepared to follow suit with a simple camel, with a concept they trademarked in October 2007 for use in both Orange and Blue flavours. -- note the U.S. spelling!

The version of this cigarette now marketed in Turkey is shown (right) with the trademark filing (above left).

Camel Natural Flavor

    BAT-Imperial Tobacco


BAT takes a sideways approach to packaging

British American Tobacco has trademarked novel package designs for Kent cigarettes (not yet for sale in Canada).


KENT Design

Fighting over the colour orange

Imperial Tobacco applied in September 2006 to register the simple colour orange as a trademark for cigarettes -- and the trademark office approved the application in March 2007. Rothmans is opposing the application, but the issue is not yet resolved.


New dress for an old brands

It's been generations since Sweet Caps were launched in Canada (and a decade or so since they were pulled from the market), but BAT may be preparing to sell them again, with a new look, filed for trade mark in 2006.

Some vintage ads for Sweet Caps are shown below - a hockey calendar, a tin and a mural recently exposed in Medicine Hat after the adjoining building was burned. (click on pictures for larger images). 

Sweet Caporal & Design


Is the name Peter Jackson too English for Quebec?

In January 2007, Imperial Tobacco files several proposals for new crests for Peter Jackson -- with starkly different Quebec and Canada imagery . 

PJ & DesignPeter Jackson since 1933 select flavour & Design

PJ & DesignPJ & DesignPJ & Design

 Philip Morris Products S.A. -Rothmans, Benson & Hedges

Philip Morris subsidiary,  has recently introduced an international brand, Parliament, to Canada, and has filed some trademarks in connection with this brand:


L & M, another prominent U.S. brand has also been the subject of several filings by Philip Morris:

Other brands with trademark activity include:

Although Philip Morris does not own the rights to Marlboro in Canada (they belong to BAT), it does market a look-alike product in Canada, and has moved to trademark other symbols, like Wide Open Flavour (shown as it is marketed in Germany below).

L & M Design




 New Snus-style filings

Several companies have filed trade mark activity for trademarks which are used in other countries in association with snus-style products.  These filings include:  
John Player and Sons is part of the U.K. based Imperial Tobacco Group (which has a name confusingly similar to BAT's Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Tobacco Canada which, to add to the confusion, markets Player's brands cigarettes in Canada).  John Player and Sons has filed for Knox and Skruf trademarks. 
  • Knox is sold with a distinctive chequerboard pattern.
  • Skruf is a major snus brand, marketed in Sweden, as shown below.

Tobaca USA has advanced trademark registration for the following brands of oral tobacco

Chequerboard & rectangle Design

KNOX & Design

Filter-Tips is produced by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.
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