Thursday, 4 February 2010

Tobacco advertising.

Tobacco advertising has been banned for years. So why is smoking on the increase? The packs have fake nasty pictures on them and dire warnings of death and dismay, yet smoking is on the increase.

Packs are now to be all in plain grey (no skulls, sadly), a measure rendered pointless by ensuring they are hidden from view at point of sale. Smoking will increase further as a result.

The tobacco companies must be up in arms. But they're not. Not a peep out of them. They can't advertise and they can't have logos on the packs and their product must be hidden away from view and yet they make no complaint at all.

The government and their fakecharities tell us every day how terrible smoking is and how evil the tobacco companies are and yet the tobacco companies give no word of protest. Why?

It's finally dawned on me. Tobacco companies don't need to advertise. The government and ASH are doing it for them. For free. Before all the banning, you'd only hear about cigarettes if you wanted to buy some. Remember the Silk Cut billboard ads? If you didn't already smoke you'd never work out what they were advertising. Those are gone forever but the tobacco companies don't mind at all. It's saving them a fortune.

Now we hear about tobacco four or five times a day, every day. They get massive news coverage telling us that they are horrible and nasty but it's still legal to smoke them.

No wonder the tobacco companies are keeping quiet. They don't want to spoil this ad-fest that costs them nothing. Taking off the logos means the packs are cheaper to produce and they don't have to compete with each other on branding. Hiding them away makes the whole experience of buying tobacco like something out of a spy thriller. You'd approach the counter with your collar turned up. The tobacconist would say something like 'The penguins are in flight', you'd respond with 'Yes, but the chimpanzee is swimming' and he'd hand you twenty Benson's.

Making smoking more attractive? The government and ASH are making it irresistible!

Does Andy Burnham realise what he's doing? He might, although I doubt it. By continually pushing smoking as the most rebellious thing anyone can do in this country, he's recruiting new smokers and reinforcing existing ones. That will increase tobacco revenue - at least it would if it weren't for the EU allowing us to cross the Channel and stock up on the cheap. Pity I'm so far from it, although some does mysteriously end up in the area.

Naturally, it will backfire. Increasing numbers of smokers, all over 18, all voting at the general election - for any party that wants to leave them literally out in the cold?

As usual, Labour haven't thought it through. Have any of the others, I wonder? There are around two million votes for whoever works it out first.

9 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

You have the makings of a good conspiracy theory there. But I guess they are just dumb. Whether people are smoking more I do not know, but the ad ban has clearly saved Big Tobacco a fortune.

Leg-iron said...

Labour are so stupid it's probably contagious, as the next post will show.

Tobacco companies are not. The boardrooms must echo with laughter every time ASH or the government make a ponouncement.

Anonymous said...

As you yourself have said many, many times, LI, two of the Righteous’s major failings are (a) that they can never admit that they make mistakes, thus ensuring that they continue to make the same ones time and again and (b) they have absolutely no imagination and thus, once one tactic has proved to have some measure of success they then repeat it ad nauseum, regardless of whether or not it has any likelihood of success in a totally different sphere. In this respect, the “advertising” of tobacco by anti-smoking groups and the consequential rise in the number of people smoking exactly mirrors the “advertising” by NuLabour of the BNP, thus raising their public profile, increasing support for their policies and, almost inevitably, improving their chances of success at the ballot box. Ironic or what?

Leg-iron said...

Another good one is the points system on drinks. Gives the boozers an easy way to keep score.

I don't think a single one of their plans has ever turned out as they intended.

Simon said...

Morning - how's the blood pressure?

The biggest silent company in all of this is Phillip Morris - why? Well that's because with display bans, plain packaging etc, the reckoning goes that the base punter will go into the supermarket (because the corner tobacconist will go under) and unless they are absolutely sure that the brand they like is there, they will plump for the brand leader -Malboro Lights. No annoying shelf competition after this!

Leg-iron said...

If there are any tobacconists left, they'll have their windows painted white like porn shops.

Best double-check the sign before you go in.

Soon the offlicence will have painted windows too. Then the pie shop. It's going to make for a very bland high street.

Rob said...

Interesting point in those comments about smoking rising when heart attack rates were, apparently, falling. Yet the smoking ban was credited as the reason why heart attack rates were falling!

Bit embarassing for them if it is true.

delcatto said...

No Simon...they will buy the Russian, Chinese, etc fags smuggled in & sold in various quiet unseen corners and bypas Tesco's. It's happening already and will just increase. The govt. really do not have a clue because they do not mix with us, the hoi polloi.
For your information I am a non-smoker and I don't particularly like smoking but I do like people having the freedom to choose whether to smoke or not.

Simon said...

Delcatto I agree but the work I did with the NFRN seems to suggest that this is what Phillip Morris is working on. And I agree. Those who still go to a counter will probably just ask for the brand leader - Marlboro Lights - and that seems to be why PM wasn't too bothered about packaging and display bans, the work had already been done

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