Wine industry panicked over links to plain packaging tobacco

Winemakers have expressed a wish to distance themselves from the tobacco industry, after an anti-plain packaging campaign made associations between tobacco and alcohol.

An advertising campaign, which has been developed by British American Tobacco and rolled out in the national newspapers, shows a beer bottle minus the brand label.

The advert has several messages

1) Plain packaging will “destroy brands that are worth millions, if not billion, of dollars”.
2) The policy “may infringe international trademark and intellectual property laws.
3) And because of this, the Government could face millions of dollars in legal fees defending the policy.

The plain packaging plan has obviously raised hackles and the forthright and belligerent tone of the ad campaign attests to just how far the tobacco industry is willing to go in fighting its implementation.

But the ad has ruffled some feathers in the wine industry, as it plays on fears that alcohol might be forced to follow tobacco down the path of plain packaging.

The Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) has been quick to disassociate alcohol from tobacco, stating that its members would reject any links made between the two industries.

Stephen Strachan, the Chief Executive of the WFA, was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying, ”our industry does not like any association between tobacco and alcohol”.

The concern voiced by the wine industry does raise an interesting issue: if the Government forces tobacco companies to sell using plain packaging on the basis of health policies, which other products should be sold in plain packs? Alcoholic beverages? High sugar beverages? Confectionery? Fast foods?   


Image courtesy of https://www.mydiscountcigarette.com

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