Cigarette Packages Main Advertising Space for Big Tobacco

April 27th, 2012 00:00

Tobacco companies are challenging the plain packaging law as namely cigarette packages are the most important space to advertise their products. Representatives for British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco declared that while the government already urged manufacturers to display graphic warnings, plain packaging would “destroy” their brands and logos.

According to the federal government’s laws all smoking products will have to be sold in olive packaged from December 1. Health warnings will cover the main part of the pack, and the manufacturer’s brand manes as Marlboro, Winston or Camel will be written in small font, similar to all brands and companies. Companies’ lawyers stated that by tacking control over the packages, the commonwealth is acquiring their intellectual property.

“It is a very important and the last available space companies have,” Alan Archibald, Philip Morris representative said at the press conference. Judge Kenneth Hayne has asked for several times how the commonwealth would gain by prompting producers to place graphic warnings on the front of the plain packages.

pass tobacco-control

BAT’s lawyer, Allan Myers stated that the plain-packaging law deprived his client of the substance of its trademark. Imperial Tobacco’s senior counsel, Bret Walker, has also distinguished between lawful warnings that stated how properly use the product, and the messages that were directed at destruction of the lawful product.
A few days ago the Chief Justice Robert French underlined that: “The commonwealth does not have the power to use your trademark, being a result if the given legislation.”

“Monitoring the way smoking products are sold in Australia is something that is legal for any parliament and also government to do,” stated Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon during the press conference before the hearing started. “Over a long period of time we have undertaken many attempts in order to pass tobacco-control actions and this regulation is one more step.”

Tobacco companies are ready to do anything in order to challenge the Australian ban as it is concerned that other countries could follow Australia’s example. BAT declares that the fight will be a real test case for the legality of plain-packaging legislation.

Latest News