Design consultancy and publisher Tank is optimistic that it will not have to pulp a book that British American Tobacco claims resembles its Lucky Strike cigarette packet design.
BAT wrote to Tank six weeks ago, objecting that the cover of its abridged version of Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Undefeated was overly similar to its Lucky Strike packaging.
Last summer, Tank designed and produced a range of abridged literary classics in large cigarette pack-style boxes, timed to coincide with the smoking ban in England.
According to a report in The Guardian, BAT’s London lawyer Baker & McKenzie claimed that the ‘rectangular device, white background… circular device and a stripe across the top of the box’ are the ‘dominant and distinctive elements’ belonging to Lucky Strike.
Tank originally defended its designs, arguing that many cigarette brands have a circular motif. Tank’s lawyer says that many cigarette brands use such a motif.
‘We did not intend to parody a particular brand,’ says Tank’s Julie-anne Edwards. ‘We only wanted to pay homage to the classic piece of design that is the flip-top cigarette carton.’
The matter is being discussed out of court. Edwards comments, ‘We hope that the dispute will be resolved amicably in the next few days, without the need for recalling and destroying the books.’