Winfield (cigarette)

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Winfield is a brand of cigarette that is popular in Australia and New Zealand. They are also sold in other markets in Europe, Canada, South Africa and Asia. They are manufactured under license by British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) and have been available in Australia since 1972.

Winfield products[edit]

The table below is a summary of the complete Winfield product line in Australia. Whilst different descriptors may be used, the Red and Blue varieties are typically always available in all markets where Winfield are sold. Furthermore, in some markets, Winfield appears in a standard pack size of 30 or 20, whereas 25 is the standard in Australia. Winfield is available in packs of 20 or 25 in Australia.

Hard Pack (King Size 25's & 20's) Soft Pack (King Size 20's)- No longer available since 2008 Charcoal Filter (King Size 25's) Roll-Your-Own (30g and 50g)
Winfield Red (16 mg) Winfield Red Winfield Red Winfield Red
Winfield Blue (12 mg) Winfield Blue Winfield Blue Winfield Blue

Winfield Yellow Export

Winfield Gold (8 mg) Winfield Gold Winfield Gold Winfield Gold
Winfield Sky Blue (6 mg) Winfield Sky Blue Winfield Sky Blue
Winfield Grey (4 mg)
Winfield Ultimate (1 mg)
Winfield Menthol (8 mg)
Winfield Cool Menthol (4 mg)
Various pack designs from the 1970s, until the introduction of plain packaging law.

Tar content is shown after the product name. Due to the mistaken belief by many Australian smokers that 'light' or 'low tar' cigarettes are better for their health than regular cigarettes, and in response to action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2005, the major tobacco companies have agreed to remove the misleading terms 'light' and 'mild' from their packaging [1]

Also, BATA is the only manufacturer to have clear "use by" date codes on their packets, unlike ITA and PMI, which use codes only known in the industry.

Sport sponsorship[edit]

Winfield was once a major sponsor of rugby league within Australia, including being the title sponsor for the New South Wales Rugby League premiership from 1982. The trophy given to the winner of the grand final was called the Winfield Cup. However due to the Australian Federal Government passing the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 the brand was forced to end its sponsorship following the end of the 1995 NSWRL season. Winfield branding was carried by the Williams F1 Team during the 1998 and '99 seasons. The Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 expressly prohibited almost all forms of tobacco advertising in Australia, including the sponsorship of sporting or other cultural events by cigarette brands. Some limited exemptions were granted for Formula One racing and golf tournaments, however. Winfield's sponsorship of Rugby League is often credited for the brand's great success throughout the 80's and early 90's, particularly amongst young people.

Also during 1992-1995, Winfield sponsored the Australian Touring Car Championship team of Gibson Motor Sport, only to have to opt out of this arrangement when the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), made the decision to outlaw tobacco sponsorship in all forms of Australian Motorsport. It was this sponsorship that saw the Winfield name shown at the famous Mount Panorama circuit, with a win at the 1992 Bathurst 1000 for Gibson Motorsport's R32 Skyline (Mark Skaife/Jim Richards), which due to the high cost of racing the Skylines, the large amounts of sponsorship money from BAT helped. This deal with Gibson continued until the end of 1995, with Mark Skaife also winning two Australian Touring Car Championships in 1992 and 1994, as well as the Australian Drivers' Championship in 1992 and 1993 in Winfield sponsored cars. After 1995 tobacco sponsorship had been outlawed after the first three years of the then new V8 formula.

The ban on tobacco advertising also affected other forms of motor racing in Australia. From the 1970's until the mid-1990's, Winfield sponsored a number of high profile teams in Speedway, Drag racing and Superbike racing. In speedway racing, this also saw a number of race tracks lose their Winfield sponsorship. The advertising ban forced teams and tracks to seek other sponsorship money.

Advertising and promotions[edit]

Winfield had also enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Australian actor Paul Hogan, who helped popularise the brand through television and print advertising. The television commercials created by Sydney agency Hertz Walpole in the 1970s were particularly successful. A series of amusing events would happen to Hogan, who would always end the advertisement by saying "...anyhow" and lighting a Winfield. Within two years of Hogan's first commercials, Winfield became the top selling cigarette in Australia. The slogan "...anyhow, have a Winfield 25's" is still easily recalled today, even after cigarette advertising has long been banned in Australia. Paul Hogan's appeal to young children ultimately led to much controversy over his association with the product.[citation needed]

Today, the 'anyhow' slogan is very rare, except for appearing in some limited marketing materials. For a period of time, the slogan was cheekily placed on the opposite side of the Australian Government's health authority warning, meaning no matter what the warning states, a user can open the packet and read '...anyhow, have a Winfield'.[citation needed]

Other slogans found on an Australian Winfield packet prior to introduction of plain packaging laws include "Australia's own since 1972" which is located on the silver foil insert, and "The Genuine Australian" on the top of the lid. Also, if looked closely onto the emblem of Winfield the motto "I Force no friend, I Fear no foe" can be seen on older packets. If an old Winfield packet is turned upside down the word "PLAY" can be seen clearly. Since introduction of plain packaging, none of these mottos or slogans have been visible on cigarette packaging.

Brand development[edit]

Typical 1970s/1980s advertisement, now since banned.

Winfield's market dominance encouraged the development of menthol and lower tar varieties. Differing tar strengths are easily distinguished within the Winfield brand family by the pack colour—i.e. the strongest variety come in predominantly dark red packaging, the menthol variety in green etc. The differing tar strengths once gave the cigarettes different "official" names. The strongest variety, containing on average 16 mg of tar were Winfield Filters. The next strongest variety, containing on average 12 mg of tar were Winfield Extra Mild. However due to the distinctive packaging the brand was colloquially referred to by the colour. A recent settlement between the ACCC and the tobacco industry in Australia resulted in the withdrawal of such descriptors as "Mild" "Extra Mild" and "Light" in relation to cigarettes, on the grounds that this may mislead smokers into thinking one cigarette was safer than another. This has mirrored recent developments in the United Kingdom as well. Other brands under BATA's control have opted to use "approved" descriptors such as "Smooth" "Rich" and "Fine", that the ACCC has approved as not misleading. However with the Winfield brand BATA has opted to use the pack colouring as the descriptor. Thus the brand's differing products are now officially known by names which they had been colloquially known anyway, i.e. Winfield Red, Winfield Blue, etc.

Winfield entered the Australian market in 1972 in the common pack size of 20's. They were the first brand in Australia to launch a pack size of 25's and used this to convey their image of being good value to the everyday Australian. Typical advertisements at the time noted that Winfield was "5 smokes ahead of the rest". Winfield remain available in Australia today in 20's or 25's.

In 1998, a "Deluxe Soft Pack 20" variant on the brand was released. These cigarettes were aimed at a more premium market, and differed in taste and strength from the traditional Winfields available in packs of 25. Winfield Deluxe Filters for example, contained 14 mg of tar, whereas the traditional Winfield Filter contained (and contains) 16 mg. This variant attracted a disappointing market share, and was consequently withdrawn from the market. Soft pack Winfields were relaunched in 2000, and have become the best selling soft pack cigarette on the Australian market. Apart from the packaging though, there is nothing to differentiate them from their hard pack counterparts. These have been discontinued in 2008, with information distributed to the trade in February announcing this decision. In 2006, a new product extension was made available in the Australian market, with a number of varieties being released in a charcoal filter. The packaging for these products varies from the traditional products with a predominantly brushed-silver package and coloured lettering indicating the strength (Blue, Gold, Sky Blue or White).

Position in the Australian market[edit]

Winfield is the dominant market leader within Australia, earning the affectionate nickname of "Winnie Blues" (blues being substituted for ones desired strength) with AC Nielsen figures revealing a share of around 32% (offtake) in 2006; nearly double its closest rival, Longbeach, which is manufactured by Philip Morris. BATA continues to push the boundaries of legal advertising to promote their flagship brand. "Limited Edition" packs featuring small advertisements and a reusable steel cigarette case are some of the tactics BATA have used to promote their brand. Cigarette advertising that originates within Australia has been banned since 1993, on all forms of media — except for the packs themselves. Some states had legislation forbidding "giveaways" or "enticements" to buy (such as a free lighter or an ashtray) was circumvented by making the steel case the packaging. If the steel case contained a normal Winfield pack inside, the company would have been in breach of the relevant act. The case, however, contained cigarettes wrapped in foil, thus the steel case was the cigarette packet, rather than an enticement to buy a packet of cigarettes. In fiscal 2004-05, Winfield was the third most valuable grocery brand in Australia. Sales exceeded A$750 million in total value in fiscal 2004-05.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "'Light' or 'low tar' cigarettes" (PDF). Quit Victoria, 2005. Retrieved 2010-07-23.

External links[edit]