Cigarettes Stripped Of Brand Identifiers In The UK

by Paul Simister on March 8, 2011

The Sunday Times reported on its front page that Tobacco companies will be forced to sell cigarettes in plain, unbranded packaging in the latest bid to discourage people from smoking.

It is believed that generic packaging without logos, colour schemes and graphics will reduce the appeal of smoking, in particular to young people.

This change is to be announced on March 9th 2011, No Smoking Day which is also Ash Wednesday.

It’s thought that the European Union will follow Britain’s example and Australia intend to impose a similar policy in 2012.

I don’t understand cigarette smoking. I’ve never seen the appeal, either of burning money or doing something that would kill me. My belief was strengthened by a lung cancer scare in 2010 – it was actually the start of my Wegeners.

Do you think this change will make any difference?

Will it cut down on smoking or will it encourage people to switch brands if the packaging no longer says something about the brand and by association, the smoker?

It will certainly make the health warning stand out even more but surely smokers know that cigarettes kill.

Update

It seems that the government didn’t go as far as The Sunday Times expected on taking away the cigarette branding.

See BBC report and The Independent

There will be consultation on whether there are benefits to plain packaging. What will change is the way retail stores are allowed to display cigarettes. In future they will be kept under the counter.

Paul Simister is a small business differentiation expert who helps business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.

You too can move past your profit tipping point by answering the seven big questions of business success.

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