Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BATNZ - It Worries and it Cares!

British and American Tobacco is really worried at the moment. Not about the people they're killing, or their profit margins, but about principles and the law. See, all they're concerned about is that their copyright is protected, not that once the mystique is gone from the years they've spent up building up their brands that their product will be reduced to what it actually is, a pack of paper tubes stuffed with an addictive substance that will make you ill and shorten your lifespan. That would be crazy talk.

From their website:

We are strongly opposed to the plain packaging of tobacco products and call on the Government to reject the proposal. Below is an overview of why.

There’s no proof that plain packaging would reduce smoking rates in New Zealand.
Absolutely! That's why they're spending hundreds and thousands of dollars fighting this because they don't want something that may not work being implemented. They want to make sure that whatever comes into force has been proven to reduce demand of their product, that's just logical. And after all, if something hasn't been proven it should never be done and the cultural and social evolution of humankind must be immediately ground to a halt.

Intellectual property is one of the most valuable assets of any business. Our brands are our intellectual property, which we have created and in which we have invested. Plain packaging would deprive us of the right to use our brands.
First of all, while studies have shown links between tobacco and brain damage, they're not talking about that kind of intellectual property, they're talking about the legal right of ownership to a brand by a company, and we all know that things are more important than people. We must protect brands because without them what kind of world would we live in? Not one that I want to be in, that's for sure.

Plain packaging would infringe New Zealand’s international obligations, damage its strong trading reputation and expose the country to legal challenges.
The tobacco industry doesn't WANT to hit us, you've got to understand that baby, but the way you're acting, with your parliamentary supremacy and your laws, you're giving them no choice. It's not them, it's us, and they will legal challenge us even though they don't want to because we've got to see reason. They will be crying while they legally challenge us around the courtroom, and I hope you're happy.

Plain packaging would make packs easier to counterfeit. A growth in the illegal market would reduce the Government’s excise revenue, expose New Zealand consumers to cheap, low quality, unregulated tobacco products, and fuel a rise in criminal activity.
You've got to agree, that is incredibly refreshing to see Big Business concerned about the taxation revenue stream to Government (is that an offer to pay more I detect? SO nice!), but that they're also worried that smokers will get a product that is cheap and low quality which would, I don't know, make them sick? Kill them? They are simply worried for us, can't we understand that?

If plain packaging is implemented, adult consumers would no longer have the freedom to choose based on branding. This could force the industry to compete on price, making cigarettes more affordable and frustrating the stated aim of plain packaging.
This isn't a company worried about market share, this is a company wanting to make sure that fundamental basic liberties, including freedom of choice, are kept. From here on in nicotine and other addictive substances will be removed from their product so that smokers will now have the true freedom of choice whether to stop smoking or not. Just kidding!

Australia is the only country to have passed plain packaging legislation. Other countries, such as Canada, have looked at plain packaging and decided not to introduce the measure.
I like this. Going for the competitive country angle. Who do you want to be more like, New Zealand? Australia or Canada? ONE OF THESE COUNTRIES ONCE BOWLED UNDERARM IN A GAME OF CRICKET. I rest my case.

We have invested in our brands over many years and have a responsibility to our shareholders to do everything we can to defend our right to use them.
See, again? Worried about everyone else but themselves. Take a second to worry about the shareholders, these poor people who put their money in to tobacco, just wanted to profit off an industry that causes the premature deaths of half their users. Those poor shareholding bastards.

Plain packaging, once introduced, is unlikely to be limited to tobacco products. Which products will be next?
GAY MARRIAGE! D: Sorry, I got my slippery slope fear arguments mixed up. It'll probably be medicine for babies in plain packaging and medications will get mixed up and thousands of NZ babies will die. And it all started here, folks. They warned us, but did we listen? What will we tell our grandchildren. Oh, right, we just killed them all by putting cigarettes into plain packaging.

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