Lorillard Fights State Cigarette Taxes

ATLANTA Lorillard has launched a $1 million advertising campaign today targeting cigarette excise taxes.

The print, outdoor and radio effort from Anderson Pitts in Washington, D.C., will run in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania for about a month, according to Steve Watson, a representative for the Greensboro, N.C., client.

Ads carrying the tagline “No tax … no crime” are aimed at legislatures in those three states as each debates increases in cigarette excise taxes.

“We’re trying to inform and enlighten the public as to what has been happening in New York since they raised [cigarette] taxes,” said Watson.

The work focuses on recent studies and news reports documenting increases in crime and cigarette smuggling in New York City, where taxes total $1.50 per pack. In one ad, the headline, “When New York City raised its cigarette tax, who knew the real winners would be these guys?” appears above a picture of a suited “wise guy.”

“A pack of cigarettes now eclipses $7 in New York City, more than an ounce of silver,” said Watson. “When you raise the tax on cigarettes, not only does it not raise revenues as projected, but it has serious side effects including smuggling, counterfeit cigarettes and illegal sales to minors.”