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'Winfield' is a brand of cigarette that is popular in Australia and New Zealand, king size (85 mm), 20 cigarettes in a pack, hard and soft pack. They are manufactured under license by BATA {British American Tobacco Australia}. They have been available in Australia since 1972.

Winfield was once a major sponsor of rugby league within Australia, including being the title sponsor for the New South Wales Rugby League from 1982. 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. 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 F1 {Formula One} racing and Golf tournaments however.

Before the introduction of this legislation, Winfield had also enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Australian actor Paul Hogan. Hogan helped popularise the brand through clever television and print advertising. The television commercials were particularly effective. Hogan would have a series of amusing events happen to him, but always end the advertisement by saying "...anyhow." and lighting a Winfield cigarette. Within two years of Hogans first commercials, Winfield became the top selling cigarette in Australia. The slogan "...anyhow." is still used on Winfield packaging to this day.

Winfields 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. {"Can I have a pack of Winfield Red?" for example.} Ironically, 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. The irnoy being that the brands differing products are now officially known by names thet have long been colloquially known by - i.e Winfield Red and Winfield Green.

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. But this variant attracted a very disappointing share of the market and were withdrawn after just over a year. Soon after their withdrawal the traditional Winfield blend became available in both hard and soft pack packs of 20.

Winfield is still among the market leaders, but has been overtaken by rival Phillip Morris brand Longbeach. As a consequence BATA 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. Had you opened your steel case and found a normal Winfield pack inside, the company would have been in the breach of the relevant act. When you opened the steel case however, you found cigarettes wrapped in foil. Thus the steel case WAS the cigarette packet, rather than an enticement to buy a packet of cigarettes.

The success of Winfield in Australia has led to their introduction to other markets, such as Canada and Germany. In fiscal 04-05, Winfield was the third most valuable grocery brand in Australia, behind Coca Cola and rival cigarette brand Longbeach. Sales exceeded AUD$750 million in total value in fiscal 04-05.

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See Also

Other "W" Brand cigarettes