Tardif, who as director of group marketing at Gallaher oversees the company's marketing strategy in all markets, will also serve as general manager of the combined operation. Both Gallaher and RJ Reynolds are licensing brands to the joint venture company, RJ Reynolds-Gallaher International, which will be based in Switzerland and target Europe.
Under the terms of the agreement, Gallaher is licensing Benson & Hedges American Blend and Benson & Hedges Red, while RJ Reynolds is licensing Reynolds.
The deal gives both firms access to new markets and will allow them to compete more effectively in the growth area of American blend cigarettes.
Gallaher's strongholds include the UK, with brands such as B&H, Silk Cut, Mayfair and Hamlet. RJ Reynolds' flagship brands are Camel, Winston and Salem. Tardif was unavailable for comment as Marketing went to press.
Gallaher is currently running an above-the-line campaign through M&C Saatchi promoting B&H as a premium brand, and is planning further investment in marketing in the build-up to an expected ban on tobacco advertising.
The ban has been delayed for an additional three months because of an objection raised by the German government (Marketing, July 11).