Carreras still fires up the party
Smoking ban didn't burn hole in sponsorship of events, company says
Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
Despite declining profits since the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013 came into effect, Christopher Brown, corporate and regulatory affairs manager at Carreras Limited, says his company's sponsorship of entertainment events remains the same.
"The company, while we have had to restructure our internal operational mechanisms, the regulations have not impacted our partnership with entities," he told The Sunday Gleaner.
In June, it was reported that Carreras had sales of $10.3 billion at year end March 2014, a sharp drop from $12.2 billion in 2013. The decline was attributed to the ban on smoking in public places as well as the sale of counterfeit cigarettes.
However, Brown said the issues Carreras had with the regulations arose after the act was passed.
"The critical issue that had arisen after the regulations were passed was where at these entertainment events adult patrons could consume the product without inconveniencing others. The regulations were not clear," he said.
He said there were consultations with the Government and provisions were made. With these new guidelines, businesses, hotels, bars, restaurants and entertainment spots can now set up designated smoking areas.
"That has been settled and, since then, we have been continuing relationships with promoters and entities across the country. We have to have full adherence to the law with regards to indoor smoking," Brown said.
He said that Carreras has also been working with various entities to set up outdoor smoking areas.
DELIGHTED AT CONTINUED SUPPORT
Meanwhile, Robert Russell, deputy chairman of Summerfest Productions, said Carreras has been a sponsor of Reggae Sumfest for many years and they were delighted to have the company on board again, earlier this year.
"Without sponsorship, we wouldn't be able to do it," he told The Sunday Gleaner.
He also added that unlike in 2013, when three persons were arrested following the implementation of the regulations, he said there weren't any arrests for smoking when Reggae Sumfest was staged last July.
"We didn't have a problem with smoking this year," he said.
Similarly, Michael Ammar Jr, director of Bacchanal Jamaica, said he also saw a decline in smoking at the various Bacchanal events.
"I guess they were smoking at the areas that were designated for that. I definitely have seen a decline in smoking and you see more people smoking the e-cigarettes," he said.
Ammar added that Carreras has been sponsoring the event for years and this year was no different.
"Their execution hasn't been about smoking. They are there with branding. All the brands are more about execution than about products at the event. There are also restrictions about what they can and can't do," Ammar told The Sunday Gleaner.