British American Tobacco has launched a campaign to persuade the Government not to introduce plain cigarette packaging.said the company would advertise nationwide against plain packaging and also lobby MPs and cabinet ministers.
Hey, and that's only the profit from keeping relatively few of us addicted.
Tobacco advertising is outlawed in New Zealand but the campaign carries the logo "British American Tobacco New Zealand".
Rush admitted they had no specific outline of what the Government might want to do and said the campaign was based on preventing Australia's proposed plain packaging regulations from spreading.
And many groups in New Zealand are planning on helping that historic Australian win spread to this part of the Antipodes.
Rush said it amounted to an assault on their intellectual property and could spread to other industries.
Oh, our hearts are bleeding, for giant tobacco at this stage and we are just managing to hold back the tears.
Rush declined to say what other industries the company had spoken with. Plain packaging isn't being considered for any other industry at present.
Minister of Health Tony Ryall said
"I think New Zealanders have moved on from being influenced in this way, I think there's a lot of support for what the Government is doing for tobacco, we've created a turning point in the fight against tobacco.
"I think they're just wasting their money. Depending on how they do it, it may or may not have an impact."
Spot on !
BAT's New Zealand operation was created in 1999.
and in figures provided at the press conference, BAT say they "contributed" $875 million last year to the Government in excise and goods and sales tax.
As part of their campaign, which involves only BAT, they launched a website, AgreeDisagree.co.nz, under a banner "we agree that tobacco is harmful, we disagree that plain packaging will work".
"There's no proof that plain packaging would reduce smoking rates in New Zealand."
The company said intellectual property was one of the most valuable assets of 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."
BAT said Australia was the only country to have passed plain packaging legislation. Other countries, suchas Canada, looked at plain packaging and decided not to introduce the measure.
"Plain packaging, once introduced, is unlikely to be limited to tobacco products. Which products will be next?"
Ohhh....so scared. Great to see the Government has some backbone on this , and we are very much looking forward to the adoption of plain packaging in New Zealand.