Japan Tobacco (JT) will change the name of its famous brand Mild Seven to “Mevius”, in an effort to challenge more aggressively the global rival brand Marlboro.
Japan Tobacco intends to make its best-selling domestic brand into the world’s most popular cigarette, by changing the brand name on all markets within a year, the company said. It would also change the design of the package on markets outside Japan.
“We aim to make [Mild Seven] the global No. 1 premium brand,” JT President Mitsuomi Koizumi said. “We think it is right to start again with a new name.”
In Japan, the company intends to discontinue the use of the Mild Seven brand in February.
Part of the reason for the name change is that markets like the EU and Canada, where Japan Tobacco intends to expand, have stricter regulations on the use of words such as “mild” in tobacco marketing.
Mild Seven is JT’s second biggest-selling cigarette globally after lower-priced Winston. Outside Japan, it is sold in 16 countries including Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Russia. JT’s Camel and Winston brands are better represented globally, being sold in more than 80 countries.