Take a look at this ad.
We bet that you probably won’t even realise what it’s for until you’re about halfway through.
Although this ad is from the UK, Australia has introduced its own cigarette plain packaging legislation, which will turn the packets of all the brands into the same, dull olive colour … that is generally accepted to be the least appealing in branding.
The tobacco giants were, predictably, angry and brought a court case alleging the Australian Government was infringing their trademark property (the brands).
Today the High Court has handed down their decision in the case and have upheld the right of the Australian Government to legislate for plain packaging. This from the Sydney Morning Herald:
The decision is expected to have significant influence globally with both the United Kingdom and New Zealand considering plain packaging.
Health experts have hailed the decision as a major victory for global health.
It clears the way for the government to impose a ban on all brand marks and logos on cigarettes, to take effect from December this year.
Large graphic health warnings will dominate the packs and the manufacturers’ brand names will be written in a small generic font.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek declared: “This is a victory for all those families who have lost someone to a tobacco related illness.
“No longer when a smoker pulls out a packet of cigarettes will that packet be a mobile billboard.”
Smoking rates in Australia were 16.6 per cent in 2007 which the Australian Government wants to bring down to less than 10 per cent by 2018 through a combination of increased taxes and plain packaging.
The new laws will take effect on December 1 this year.
Do you think plain packaging will discourage people from taking up smoking?