Under the tobacco-advertising directive, the EU Commission’s goal was to hunt down ‘insidious forms’ of indirect tobacco advertising. Davidoff and Lancaster had been accused of indirect tobacco advertising vis-à-vis the marketing of perfume products. The challenge was to convince the EU Commission in particular and the EU institutions in general that promoting the Davidoff brand image was not in and of itself, tobacco advertising.
The strategy relied on a targeted and holistic exposition of the black letter law. It took into account the limitations within the EU legal bases on which the directive was passed. It used a substantive multidisciplinary methodology to demonstrate the need for sematic coherence in the way in which indirect advertising provisions were subsumed into the broader internal market framework. Concurrently we showed exposed statistical and economic realities. This established that Davidoff and Lancaster’s actions within the marketing of perfume products could not be construed as indirect advertising of tobacco products.
The outcome was a lifting of the proceedings against Lancaster and Davidoff. We prevented the EU Commission from getting entangled into a wasteful litigation that would have compromised legitimate economic activity. Insofar as outlying issues for Davidoff, remained unresolved by lobbying, we successfully executed a CJEU case.