Peter Stuyvesant (cigarette)
An old French pack of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes, with a French text warning at the bottom of the pack.
|Produced by||British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco (Australia and New Zealand only)|
|Previous owners||Reemtsma (Germany only)|
|Tagline||"The scent of the big wide world: Peter Stuyvesant.", "The taste of the whole wide world."|
Peter Stuyvesant is a premium brand of cigarettes currently owned by British American Tobacco and manufactured by the American Cigarette Company. In Australia and New Zealand, the brand is manufactured by Imperial Tobacco. The cigarette brand is named after Petrus Stuyvesant, Governor of New Amsterdam, later New York City.
Peter Stuyvesant was initially launched in South Africa in 1954 and later test marketed in New York in 1957, the brand was officially launched worldwide in the same year. "The scent of the big wide world: Peter Stuyvesant." is the famous slogan, which was created in 1958 by the Swiss Fritz Bühler. In the 1980s the slogan was changed to "The taste of the whole wide world." Eventually British American Tobacco bought the brand in 2003 and it became one of their most popular premium brands.
In the 1980s, the brand enjoyed an increase in sales thanks to various advertising campaigns in cinemas and by offering the cigarettes in the airplanes of the Dutch airline company KLM. The brand is sold in 55 countries and is especially popular in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as most parts of Europe, but is less known in the United States.
In 2015, a tax increase in Malaysia saw Peter Stuyvesant, as well as various other BAT branded cigarettes, increase in price. Peter Stuyvesant and Pall Mall cigarettes went from 12.30 to 15.50 Malaysian ringgit, an increase of 3.20 Malaysian ringgit.
In 2009, Imperial Tobacco Australia hosted a VIP party in a building owned by the Australian State Government, which funds anti-smoking campaigns, to promote their Peter Stuyvesant brand. The annual Peter Stuyvesant secret VIP party have become legend among A-listers. Supposedly held in a different city every year, the party was labelled as one of the biggest and most lavish on the corporate calendar. The top secret, invitation-only event was being held at the Queen's Theatre, a non-smoking venue belonging to the History Trust of SA.
Senator Nick Xenophon described the cigarette industry as "parasitic" and urged the Government to cancel the event, but Substance Abuse Minister Jane Lomax Smith said she would not "interfere" with the party. "While we are making life tougher for cigarette companies, we wouldn't interfere in the affairs of a legitimate business running a private function in a no-smoking venue." she said.
In 2012, Imperial Tobacco Australia changed the packaging of the Australian packs of Peter Stuyvesant prior to the transition to plain packaging. The last-ditch Peter Stuyvesant packets showed the brand ripped at one corner to reveal the new-look plain box, while accompanying advertisements say: "We're going plain early because we know Peter Stuyvesant will continue to live on inside". Imperial Tobacco said its new packets were "a mechanism to provide factual information" about the impact of the new laws, but Tanya Plibersek, the Australian health minister, said Imperial Tobacco's new slogan was ironic "given that what's on the inside is a product that, if used as the maker intends, will kill half of its regular users" and called the packaging changes "the ultimate sick joke from big tobacco".
In 2013, it was reported that Imperial Tobacco Australia had sent marketing material to WA tobacco retailers which promotes limited edition packs of "Peter Stuyvesant + Loosie", which came with 26 cigarettes. The material included images of a young woman with pink hair putting on lipstick and men on the streets of New York and also included a calendar and small poster that were clearly intended to glamorise smoking.
Anti-smoking campaigner Mike Daube said although the material did not break the law because it had been sent to shop owners, it was a blatant attempt to portray smoking as helping people feel individual and non-conformist. A spokeswoman for Imperial Tobacco Australia said the promotional material was intended for the tobacco trade only. "It is not a communication to members of the general public, but only to members of the tobacco trade. Communications to the tobacco trade are expressly permitted by Section 10 (3) of the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 and we are disappointed to learn that a retailer may have breached the Act by allegedly making a copy of the trade publication available to a member of the public.", she said.
In 2016, it was reported that Imperial Tobacco Australia was selling cut-price premium brand cigarettes for as low as 20 Australian Dollars a packet that are imported from Ukraine in various Coles, IGA and Foodworks stores. Fairfax Media bought cigarettes from Imperial Tobacco's line of brands that were from two different countries of origin - New Zealand and the Ukraine. The Ukrainian-made Imperial Tobacco cigarettes range between $3 and $6 cheaper than the company's cigarettes made in New Zealand, depending on the location of the store and brand. The brand at the centre of the change is popular, premium brand Peter Stuyvesant Blues. The Ukrainian version is called "Peter Stuyvesant Originals Blue" while the NZ version is dubbed "Peter Stuyvesant Classic Blue". A spokeswoman for Imperial claimed the company had not changed country of import and that the company had changed its country of import to provide cut-price cigarettes to the Australian market. "The Ukraine-manufactured product is a brand extension. Our Ukrainian facility has the machinery necessary to manufacture this particular product. The balance of that brand family is manufactured in NZ." the Imperial spokeswoman said.
Also in 2016, Imperial Tobacco Australia had deployed a new trick to circumvent the plain packaging legislation in force since 2012 by inserting soft packs inside the hard packs, effectively allowing you to take the cigarettes out with the soft pack and throwing the hard pack with all the graphic picture warnings away. This trick was mainly used on Peter Stuyvesant cigarette packs A spokeswoman for Imperial denied the company was breaking the law before adding: "we are providing a fresher, premium product to consumers".
The Australian Federal Department of Health said it would investigate the issue - after it was raised by Australian Regional Media with Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley. The Plain Packaging Act states that: "If the pack contains lining - the lining of the pack must be made only of foil backed with paper," which the soft packs in question are, and while there is also a section precluding tobacco companies from having fold out panels on their packets there is nothing that specifically addresses this latest move by Imperial Tobacco. It isn't the first time Imperial Tobacco tried to circumvent these regulations either. A report by Quit Victoria in 2011 mentioned the brand's previous behaviour. "In February 2006, one month prior to the adoption of picture‐based warnings on tobacco packages, Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes were being sold in 'trendy retro‐style tins' which, unlike soft packets of cigarettes with on‐pack printed warnings, had health warning stickers that were easily peeled off. Retailers reported that the tins were very popular with younger smokers", the report stated.
In 2017, The Federal Health Department had conceded it will not be taking any action against Imperial Tobacco for breaching Australia's plain packaging legislation. It was reported in 2016 that Imperial Tobacco put soft packs inside Peter Stuyvesant 20-pack cigarettes which you could take out and throw away the hard pack with all the graphic picture warnings, and while court action which could see penalties worth more than a million Dollars imposed on the tobacco giant is available, the Department had instead chosen to take what it calls "conciliatory" approach. Imperial said at the time packaging was intended to ensure the cigarettes were "fresh" - not a deliberate attempt to enable purchasers to carry around a more aesthetically pleasing pack of smokes. Under the Plain Packaging Act the Commonwealth is able to pursue tobacco companies for small fines in the first instance then civil penalties - which can amount to millions of dollars and finally criminal prosecution - if companies wilfully break the laws. However last year, when questioned on why no such action was being pursued against Imperial Tobacco a spokeswoman for Federal Health said: "No instances of non-compliance with the Act have been identified by the Department that warrant the initiation of Court proceedings in the first instance, and without attempting alternative dispute resolution to achieve compliance".
Peter Stuyvesant is or was sold in the following countries: Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Senegal, Zambia, South Africa, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.
- Peter Stuyvesant Red: (tar: 10 mg; nicotine: 0.8 mg; carbon monoxide: 10 mg)
- Peter Stuyvesant Gold: (tar: 6 mg; nicotine: 0.5 mg; carbon monoxide: 6 mg)
- Peter Stuyvesant Gold 100s: (tar: 6 mg; nicotine: 0.5 mg; carbon monoxide: 6 mg)
- Peter Stuyvesant Blue: (tar: 4 mg; nicotine: 0.3 mg; carbon monoxide: 5 mg)
- Peter Stuyvesant Silver: (tar: 1 mg; nicotine: 0.1 mg; carbon monoxide: 2 mg)
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- Media related to Peter Stuyvesant (cigarette) at Wikimedia Commons