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Brand Matinée

The Canadian version of Matinée was introduced in 1954 as a regular size (75 mm) filter cigarette by Allan Ramsay and Company Ltd., a division of Imperial Tobacco Canada. Through the years, it has been marketed as an elegant woman's brand. A king-sized (86 mm) version was brought out later, likely during the early 1960s.

The first extension of the Matinée brand occurred in 1976 with the introduction of Matinée Special Filter, which had a slightly lower "tar" reading than the original. It was produced in King Size and 100 mm, and was available at least until the early 1990s. This was followed soon after by the introduction of Matinée Extra Mild in 1978.

The Pegasus trademark began to be phased in on packages of Matinée Extra Mild in 1984; it also appeared on Matinée Slims Extra Mild, which debutted in 1985. Matinée Special Mild was introduced in 1988 (an update of the Special Filter brand); it did not last for very long. At the other end of the "tar" scale, Matinée Ultra Mild came on the market in the late 1990s.

Of the three brand extensions introduced in the past decade, two were phased out in 2007: Matinée Silver (with a "tar" reading between the original and Extra Mild), which came out circa 2002, and Matinée Menthol, introduced around 2005 when Imperial Tobacco lowered the price of Matinée, making them a value brand. A stronger version of the original, Matinée Select, in a maroon packet, was introduced circa 2006, but has limited distribution.

The banning of the words "light" and "mild" from Canadian cigarette packages in 2007 led to the renaming of Extra Mild to Mellow, and Ultra Mild to Subtle. In addition, the words "Extra Mild" were taken off the redesigned Matinée Slims packet, and Medallion Ultra Mild, Imperial Tobacco's ultra-low tar brand, was renamed Medallion by Matinée, thus adding it to the Matinée brand family.

Go to Brand Medallion

In 2008, Imperial Tobacco ceased their Canadian manufacturing operations; today, all of Imperial's brands (including Matinée) are produced in Mexico and shipped to Canada for sale.

Imperial Tobacco launched Vogue Slims and Vogue Menthol Slims, based on the international brand sold in Europe by parent company British American Tobacco, in 2009; concurrently, it was quietly announced (on the plastic wrapping on the cigarette pack, advertising having been effectively re-banned in Canada that same year) that Matinée Slims and Matinée Menthol Slims were being discontinued and replaced by the new Vogue. It is expected that the production of the Matinée Slims sub-brand will end in 2010. (Go to Brand Vogue)

Go to Manufacturer Imperial Tobacco Canada

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