Monday, 20 February 2012

Plain packaging...


Chris Snowdon has - via the good offices of the Adam Smith Institute - published a paper on the lunatic idea of introducing plain packaging for cigarettes. It is an excellent read filled with real facts, references to real research and a commitment to liberty.

In addition Conservative Home have given Chris some space to set out his argument - it's certainly worth reading the comments thread. No sign of much support for the idea.

For my part I wrote about this - from the perspective of a professional and experienced marketer:

Firstly, brands do not act to recruit customers to a given product – we choose to buy the product and then we select the brand. Nobody starts buying bread because they saw a Warburton’s ad – they buy bread because, well, they want bread! What the brand provides is a heuristic – a short cut, if you will – allowing the consumer to make a choice quickly and confidently. What we do know is that it is the search for a benefit that makes consumers choose to buy a product rather than the shininess of the brand presentation.  Or is you prefer: we buy bread because we want to eat it not because the advert featured a brass band playing chunks from the New World Symphony!

Secondly, packaging serves two purposes – identification and appeals to impulse. In the first instance we put our product into easily identified packaging as part of that heuristic, as a quick means of identifying our particular version of a given product. And, where purchase is often impulse driven, we use packaging to make the product stand out from other similar products. So yes packaging can assist purchase – but only where it isn’t a considered purchase.

The rest of this piece can be read here - suffice it to say that the scale of ignorance about the purpose of brands and the point of packaging beggar's belief. Anyone would think they had an agenda!



Anonymous said...

Article 13

Plain packaging.

16."The effect of advertising or promotion on packaging can be eliminated by requiring plain packaging: black and white or two contrasting colours, as prescribed by national authorities: nothing other than a brand name and/or manufacturer's name, contact details and the quantity of the product in the packaging, without any logos or other features apart from health warnings, tax stamps and other government mandated information or markings: prescribed font style and size: and standardized shape, size and materials.
There should be no advertising or promotion inside or attached to the package or on individual cigarettes or other tobacco products"

What's the betting that despite all talk of public consultation,that is exactly what we end up with.

Kin Free said...

Indeed anon, this is a right royal stitch-up. The conclusions/ recommendations/results are a foregone conclusion- already determined by some back room committee dominated and/or directed by ASH.

Look at the pedigree of the 'officers' involved in this 'consultation' - all selected to ensure the 'correct' response;

Is this meant to foster the impression that the issues will be examined impartially but clearly will NOT?

Is anyone NOT disgusted at this deception that treats the public and the democratic process with such contempt? Is this 'consultation' facade how it is normally done with other issues Simon and do normal MPs believe anything that is produced by these 'consultations'?

Kin Free said...

ps. I am not interested at all in Williams sexual orientation, it is the biased make up of the all party group that disgusts me.