A newly-organized group is launching this weekend an anti-Labor advertising campaign designed by Liberal Party strategists and funded by tobacco companies. The ad blitz set for the weekend will attack the said party's proposed law on packaging tobacco products.

The newly-registered Alliance of Australian Retailers will be releasing full-page newspaper and television ads that also accuse Labor of raising costs of living.

The Alliance is inviting retail groups Service Station Association, the Independent Retailers Association and the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores to join the campaign reportedly funded by tobacco companies to the tune of $5 million.

Philip Morris's corporate affairs director, Christ Argent, confirmed the industry was backing the AAR campaign.

We are supporting the efforts of the alliance in calling for the Government to abandon the plain packaging, News.com.au quoted the former Howard government adviser as saying.

Tobacco giant British American Tobacco is reportedly also among the funder. Both BAT and Philip Morris are Liberal Party donors over the past decade.