BrandDu Maurier

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An excerpt from "Dictionary of Trade Name Origins", by Adrian Room:

Du Maurier (cigarette by B.A.T. Industries) The cigarette was launched in 1903 by Peter Jackson Ltd. after
the actor Gerald du Maurier had made requests for 'a cigarette less irritating to his throat.' Peter Jackson were
a subsidiary of the International Tobacco Co., which company was taken over by Gallaher in 1934. In 1979,
the brand passed to B.A.T., who had owned the trade mark overseas since they acquired Peter Jackson
(Overseas) Ltd. in 1955.

du Maurier is the most popular brand of cigarettes that is available in Canada. They were named for Sir Gerald du Maurier (1873-1934), a British actor and manager. They were introduced in Canada in 1936 (in regular size), and were produced by the Tuckett Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Canada, until 1966. The king-sized version of du Maurier was introduced in 1962. From 1966 until 1996, they were produced by Imperial Tobacco Canada, and have been produced by Imperial Brands Ltd. since 1996. The American version (originally with a creped paper filter tip) was produced by Columbia Tobacco, a small firm which was purchased by Brown and Williamson. du Maurier is also currently made in Trinidad and Tobago, under license by the West Indian Tobacco Compnay.

In Canada, the first extension to the du Maurier brand was a Menthol version, introduced in 1967 and lasting through at least the early 1970s. 1968 saw the introduction of Cortina, a compact-sized cigarette featuring the du Maurier name, which only lasted a couple of years. du Maurier Special Mild, in a silver pack, were brought out in 1978, followed by du Maurier Light in 1980. These were followed by du Maurier Extra Light in 1987, du Maurier Ultra Light in 1991, and du Maurier Edition (with less ”tar” and nicotine than the Ultra Light version) in 2003. The du Maurier name and logo also appears on Avanti, a brand of slim cigarettes which were introduced in the mid-1980s (see under Brand Avanti).

In 2007, the terms ”light” and ”mild” were banished from Canadian cigarette packaging. This led to multiple name changes in the du Maurier family: du Maurier Speical Mild became du Maurier Special (in a blue package), Light became Distinct, Extra Light became Prestige, and Ultra Light became Premiere.

Most du Maurier brands in Canada are made in regular (75 mm) and king size (84 mm). du Maurier Special (Special Mild) is also produced in a 100 mm size, as are du Maurier Distinct (Light) and Prestige (Extra Light) (which were introduced circa 2004). du Maurier is today positioned as a premium-priced brand. In 2006, at the onset of its most recent redesign, all du Maurier ”large pack” king sized variants were repackaged in a new ”signature pack” (a flip-top box holding 25 cigarettes); the cartons are also uniquely designed as large flip-top boxes holding eight packs of king size du Mauriers. The mid-2000s also saw the introduction of two charcoal-tipped versions of du Maurier (which competed with rival RBH's Belmont brand). Sold in white packaging, they were discontinued in 2011.

In 2008, Imperial Tobacco Canada ceased their Canadian manufacturing operations; today, all of their brands (including du Maurier) are produced at the B.A.T. factory at Monterrey, Mexico and shipped to Canada for sale.

The du Maurier brand experienced a major revamp in 2011, due to coming changes in the Canadian market (including the new health warnings which will cover 75% of packaging, and the removal of "tar" and nicotine numbers from the side of the package). For the first time, the main du Maurier family has abandoned its traditional red colouring in favour of using different-coloured packs to differentiate the strength differences between their sub-brands. du Maurier Full Flavour became du Maurier Signature (in a red pack), du Maurier Distinct kept its name (though it is now in a blue pack), Prestige [Extra Light] became Balanced (in a grey pack), and Premiere [Ultra Light] became Mellow (in a yellow pack). du Maurier Edition was discontinued, and Cameo Menthol Full Flavour was rebranded as du Maurier Menthol.

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See also

Other 'D'-brand cigarettes