British American Tobacco’s current advertising campaign opposing plain packaging shows containers marked "cola" and "beer" under the question "What company would stand for this? None probably. But that’s because, as BAT knows, the government’s plain packaging proposal allows brand names: packs won’t all have just "cigarettes" on them. Brand names will appear in standard font on the front of every pack. Unless BAT has information about its customers that a significant number of them can’t read, BAT is misleading the public about what will be involved.
Its efforts to quash this legislation are causing considerable amusement. In The Sydney Morning Herald this weekend, the commissioning editor apparently could not find anyone other than a BAT staffer to write against the proposal. The traditional two for and two against, saw Wayde Bull from the Brand Consultancy, lining up with two tobacco control advocates to support the Bill.