Originally playing a major role in the development of the cigar market in the UK, Lambert & Butler has developed into a major player on the British cigarette market.
Founded in 1834 by Charles Lambert and Charles Butler, their first store was located St. John Street, Clerkenwell. To cope with increasing demand, the business moved to Dury Lane in 1836. Along with being one of the first British business to manufacture cigars for the UK market Lambert & Butler also sold cigarettes and pipe tobacco.
The partnership was successful, and business volumes soon grew. However, in December 1901 the company merged with Imperial Tobacco to protect itself from being acquired by American Tobacco Company.
The brand subsided from view while under the control of Imperial Tobacco. However, in 1979 Lambert & Butler was relaunched as a king size cigarette. Success was rapid for the brand, and by 1980 over 1 million smokers had tried the new brand.
The company followed up this success in 1985 with the release of cigarettes in the 100s format. To increase market share and counter the ever increasing cost of taxation on the tobacco industry, Lambert & Butler was the first brand to have a complete product line price reduction. To further reduce customer costs Lambert & Butler released their cigarettes in packs of 10 in 1987.
To appeal to changing customer tastes, the brand released a menthol version of their cigarettes in 1997 and an Ultra Mild version in 1998. To celebrate Lambert & Butler's silver anniversary in 2004, the brand underwent a facelift.
Lambert & Butler has been the leading cigarette in the UK since 1999.
Much of Lambert & Butler's success has been due to the imaginative advertising schemes. The most notable began in 1997 involving two men called Lambert and Butler (who, conveniently enough, was dressed as a butler). In the ads, Lambert would ask the butler something, who would have a witty response.
From launch, the ads where criticized as primarily marketing towards young children, due to the characters being cartoon like. Days before all tobacco advertising was banned in the UK, 14th February 2003 the characters Lambert and Butler made their final joke: Butler and Lambert appearing with their faces blurred and Butler commenting "Looks like we've been outlawed, sir.".
As restrictions where placed on tobacco advertising, Lambert & Butler extensively sponsored 1000cc motorcycle teams in the UK, and was honored with being the named sponsor in the Lambert & Butler Challenge in northern England.
- Lambert & Butler King Size
- Lambert & Butler Smooth
- Lambert & Butler Superkings
- Lambert & Butler Superkings Smooth
- Lambert & Butler Gold
- Lambert & Butler White
- Lambert & Butler Menthol